RayMedica: Beyond Spinal Cages
Fusion cages are largely responsible for turning the spinal market into the fastest growing segment of orthopedics. Despite their success, however, cages still involve spinal fusion which restricts the spine's natural functions and are thus a less-than-optimal solution to back pain. The developer of a leading cage device has launched a company based on another of his inventions, a prosthetic disc nucleus, which is designed to treat disc disease while maintaining normal spine function.
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Spine arthroplasty--replacing either the entire disc or simply the nucleus--is one of the most promising new therapies to treat patients with herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. But the technology has had a rocky history: rushed into patients too soon, without proper clinical trials, say critics, disc replacement languished in Europe and took a long time to attract interest in the US. Moreover, first generation arthroplasty products, most notably discs, had several drawbacks that limited adoption--some were very hard to implant, for example, while others were too stiff and tended to extrude. Companies like Disc Dynamics hope to ride the wave of interest in disc and nucleus replacement as it develops new technology that is both superior to first generation products and backed by the proper kinds of clinical studies.
Just five weeks before the US election, a Medtech Insight analysis shows medical device companies are spending more on Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign than on Republican Donald Trump’s.