Bone to fix! Doc creates spinal remedy for 80 percent of globe’s sufferers
A Polish neurosurgeon has created new spinal implants that could help up to 80 percent of the world’s population.
Dr. Piotr Szydlik from Białystok in North East Poland has developed a system of screws and rods which will provide stability to the spine while still allowing flexibility of movement.
Although spinal surgery is nothing new, fusing discs and repairing damaged vertebrae has been around in some form since the 5th century BC, the innovation from Dr. Szydlik, includes building a structure to support the natural movement of the spine using surgical rods and screws.
He told TFN: “The new implants should be an effective replacement for spinal fusion in a great number of cases.
“However, a surgeon can use both methods at the same time when it is needed.
“The implants can be used in patients with damage of the vertebral column.
“In selected cases they can allow a surgeon to adjust some degree of movement in the damaged segments of the spine after the bone fracture has healed. In the standard way of treating this is not possible.
“The main causes of spinal pain are degenerative changes of the spine and/or overburden in the lumbar or cervical region of the spine. These conditions can be improved with this surgical implant.”
The new implants can be inserted in all regions of the spine and could help hundreds of millions of people worldwide who suffer from back pain.
Dr. Szydlik’s implant will also reduce recovery time for patients. Post recovery the recipients will be more comfortable and have fewer problems related to stiffness than is experienced as a result of current back surgery techniques.
The implants significantly reduce the risk that the problem will reappear and those who receive the implants will be able to go back to work and enjoy a wider range of activities in their private life.
“I have been working on this project for three years to formulate the principles of the technology and create the construction of the implants.
“Now, as we carry on with the development of technology I work with a biomedical expert and mechanical engineer as a team.
The team will be expanded to include a specialist in robotics and a specialist in biomaterials,” Dr. Szydlik, told TFN.
Dr. Szydlik still faces a few legal and production barriers before his revolutionary implants can start being used in patients across the European Union.
“The implants are not ready yet. We still need more development of the technology and then when the pre-production prototypes are ready we want to obtain a CE certification mark for the EU countries.
“All these steps probably will take three to five years,” he added.