Mimics Innovation Awards Finalists: Péter Éltes and Mate Turbucz
2 min read
Semi-Rigid Fixation of the Rostral Instrumented Segments to Prevent Proximal Junctional Kyphosis in Long Thoracolumbar Fusion
What was the dream?
Dr. Éltes’ objective was to devise a strategy to alleviate the substantial stresses on the upper portion of the implant system in complex spinal injuries. Doing so could reduce the likelihood of mechanical failures and complications, such as vertebral fractures.
What was the challenge?
Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) is a relatively common complication that occurs following long instrumented posterior spinal fusion surgery, whereby the spine has an abnormal curvature after surgery. Although there are several risk factors for PJK, previous biomechanical studies suggest that one of the leading causes is the sudden change of mobility between the instrumented and non-instrumented sections of the spine. To avoid the complications caused by this change of mobility, a stabilization system is needed to alleviate stresses and facilitate an optimal transition between the fixed and mobile components.
What are the results?
Dr. Éltes saw that there are significant biomechanical disparities between rigid and semi-rigid fixations. Unlike rigid fixations, semi-rigid fixations resulted in a more gradual motion transition between healthy and instrumented spinal segments. This subsequently reduced loading on the screws at the upper instrumented vertebra, which means that semi-rigid fixations could be an effective tool to help reduce the risk of mechanical complications such as PJK.
Why this research reached the final
Spinal surgery is a complex and high-risk procedure. To ensure the best possible surgical outcomes, it is extremely important that we improve our understanding of how different surgical techniques and instruments affect the movement and stress in our spine. Dr. Éltes and the rest of his team harnessed the power of state-of-the-art techniques, such as personalized 3D models, to study the effects of different surgical approaches on a common spinal surgery complication. By discovering which techniques work best for certain movements, it is now possible to provide more personalized and effective treatments for each individual patient, which will help tremendously in complications and better overall surgical outcomes.
Leading professor: Péter Éltes
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