Expandable interbody cages are today an important trend in the spinal market.Most of the Key players have already launched some expandable device. Within this new generation of cages, those of Globus Medical stand out, which has undoubtedly been the company that first bet on these devices. Another company with quality expandable devices is Life Spine, which also seems to be ahead of many other companies.
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But does it really have advantages?
- Expandable interbody cages allow to the surgeon to go through a small corridor and change the geometry of the cage to correspond to what the patient’s spine requires
- These implants may help protect a patient’s nerve roots and other structures in the area near the cage or along the corridor through which they are implanted.
- Also, they can sometimes be implanted with a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Other surgeons think that Expandable cages might have their place are not so convinced mainly for two reasons:
- The force of the expansion mechanism can fracture the endplate which exposes cancellous bone of the vertebral interior. This in turn can cause osteolysis if the surgeon uses bone morphogenic protein and also allow subsidence losing the distraction important in realignment.
- In many implants, the mechanism of distraction, may occupy space that could be filled with bone graft. This reduction of bone graft makes fusion less likely and might slow fusion down.
In any case, the number of expandible cages is growing and more and more companies are completing their cages portfolio with these devices and time will tell if they are here to stay or if they will dissapear in the next years. Learn about the 50 most relevant Expandible cages: http://www.thespinemarketgroup.com/expandable-cages/.