Kyphon: A Trial Balloon Succeeds in Spine
Until now, most spine surgeons wouldn't even treat osteoporotic fractures of the spine, referring such patients to medical management. But using technology borrowed from balloon angioplasty, Kyphon has developed instrumentation that represents a new clinical approach to this serious problem. As with most device companies, regulatory issues and reimbursement have been a challenge, as have comparisons with another spinal procedure, vertebroplasty.
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Now, vertebroplasty advocates look to be losing on a very significant front. A growing number of third-party payors - including at least one Medicare contractor - are reconsidering their coverage of procedures for vertebral compression fractures.
Just six months removed from Cardinal Health, CareFusion is making headlines with new products, anti-trust lawsuits and signficant acquisitions. The three individual events reflect the aggressive attitude CareFusion executives intend to carry now that they’re free from Cardinal Health.
Vexim's SpineJack implant for treating vertebral compression fractures looks and works much like a car jack. Once inserted into a patient's vertebra through a minimally invasive procedure, the device ratchets up to restore an anatomically correct profile. SpineJack maintains height restoration until the load bearing is transferred to bone cement. So rather than merely treating back pain, the implant also restores the anatomical shape of the vertebra.