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Dynesys Dynamic Neutralisation System for the Spine
Dynesys offers an alternative to fusion, that allows some motion. The system consists of screws and spacers, connected by a stabilising cord.
2) Trabecular Metal™ Family: A Guide for Patients
The family of Trabecular Metal bone replacement devices represents an innovative solution for surgery requiring bone replacement.
This information is provided to help you make an informed decision about your choice of bone replacement materials. If you have any additional questions, please ask your physician.
What are my options?
If you are scheduled for surgery that will require bone replacement -- for instance, knee, hip or spine surgery -- your physician may offer you a choice of replacement materials.
Traditionally, the strength, flexibility and regrowth capabilities of natural bone have made it the material of choice for these applications.
Your surgeon may be able harvest your own bone for this purpose. The drawback is that you will have a second surgical site that will require healing.
Alternatively, material from a bone bank can be used. The drawback to this option is that, although careful sterilization makes the risk minimal, there is a chance that infection or disease will be introduced.
Artificial implants represent the third option. Until now, however, artificial implants have involved some compromises in terms of healing time, strength and flexibility.
But now there's Trabecular Metal material -- the structural material that looks, acts and flexes like natural bone.
Why should I consider a Trabecular Metal implant?
Trabecular Metal implants are artificial devices that overcome the disadvantages of their predecessors.
More than any other artificial devices, Trabecular Metal implants resemble natural bone both physically and mechanically. Most notably, they're highly porous, with up to 82% empty space -- much more than the 8% or so that natural cortical bone offers. So Trabecular Metal implants leave plenty of pathways for unimpeded bone growth.
Trabecular Metal implants offer strength and flexibility comparable to natural bone -- something no other artificial implants can offer.1,2
Unlike artificial devices made of common titanium, Trabecular Metal implants will not interfere with certain diagnostic tests -- particularly with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A recent university study showed that its main ingredient, tantalum, actually outperforms titanium in MRI, the imaging exam of choice for an increasingly wide range of diagnostic testing.3,4
Can an implant really be as good as real bone?
Trabecular Metal material is actually about twice as strong as cancellous bone. Its elasticity and ductility are comparable. That means it can handle even more weight and stress than natural bone and is no more likely to fracture from overloads.
So while a Trabecular Metal implant naturally can't grow like real bone, it gives you the benefits of natural bone without requiring a second surgical site.
Is Trabecular Metal material clinically proven?
The tantalum that is the main ingredient of Trabecular Metal implants has a long and successful history in medical implant applications. It has been used safely since the 1940s for everything from skull plates to pacemaker leads to vascular clips. It is the most corrosion-resistant of all metals. And it is also the most biocompatible – that is, it is not toxic or injurious to humans, and will not be rejected by the body’s immune system. 1
With traits like these, it is no surprise that Trabecular Metal implants have been used extensively in orthopaedic applications. In fact, since 1995 more than 100,000 Trabecular Metal implants have been used in hip, knee and spine procedures.
Is Trabecular Metal right for you?
Are Trabecular Metal implants the right choice for you? Only your surgeon can help you make that decision.
1. Bobyn JD, Hacking SA, Krygier JJ, et. al. Characterization of a new porous tantalum biomaterial for reconstructive surgery. 66th AAOS, Anahem, CA, Feb. 4-8, 1999.
2. Bobyn JD, Stackpool GJ, Hacking SA, Tanzer M, Krygier JJ. Characteristics of Bone In-Growth and Interface Mechanics of a New Porous Tantalum Biomaterial. JBone and Joint Surgery (Br. Version), Sep. 1999, 81-B, No. 5, pp. 907-914.
3. Heiner AD, Poggie RA, Brown TD. Flexural Rigidity of Laboratory and Surgical Substitutes for Human Fibular Bone Grafts. JMusculoskeletal Research, 1998, 2(4), pp. 267-272.
4. Levi AD, Choi WG, Keller PJ, Heiserman JE, Sonntang VK, Dickman CA. The Radiographic Imaging Characteristics of Porous Tantalum Implants within the Human Cervical Spine. Spine, 1998, 23(11), pp. 1245-1251.
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