The Brisbane Private Neurosurgery Centre will introduce a new spinal surgery technique to Australia, previously only available in Europe.
Neurosurgeon Peter Lucas said European experience with the new device had shown considerable improvement in patient outcomes, at a lower cost which prompted him to introduce it to his practice.
“Patients will have the advantage of potentially faster and higher fusion rates resulting in better outcomes through completed fusion,” he said.
The new technique uses a new device that facilitates fusion, while negating the need to harvest bone from elsewhere in the body or use bone substitutes.
The new spinal implant is made from trabecular titanium using 3D printing that reproduces the architecture of the bone. It provides a scaffold for the bone to grow through, while also encouraging the bone to bridge the gap through the scaffolding, meaning no graft material is required.
“Preliminary studies in Europe demonstrate that not only does this facilitate fusion, it does so in a faster timeframe than would conventionally be expected in any particular age group,” Dr Lucas said.
“The value is a wider fusion footprint, which results in a greater likelihood and faster speed of fusion.”
Dr Lucas said traditional devices did not actively encourage the bone to grow, but housed the graft material.
He said the new implant led to fast and extensive bone incorporation.
“For a fusion to have the greatest likelihood of success, where bone bridges to bone, there needs to be stability, blood supply, osteo-conductive material and osteo-induction,” Dr Lucas said.
“The new device facilitates all of these things without the requirement for graft, which, in some procedures, is a cost reduction to insurers and the community if external allograft or bone substitutes were to be used otherwise.
“At the very least, it is a technical improvement without the requirement to harvest local or native bone.”
The device has TGA approval in Australia.
“The new device is suitable for patients in need of spinal fusion including anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and posterior/transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion,” Dr Lucas said.