Basics and Benefits
The VERTE-SPAN® device allows surgeons to reconstruct and stabilize certain types of anterior column defects in the spine.
One of the most challenging problems facing spinal surgeons today is vertebral body replacement. The introduction and widespread acceptance of interbody techniques in the early 1990s has led to an increased interest in the role of the anterior column in reconstruction of complex spinal disorders. Leading orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons have worked to increase the versatility of interbody devices in order to address an increasingly complex array of spinal problems. The most common indication for vertebral body replacement is for reconstruction of the anterior column of the spine after the resection of spinal tumors or severely fractured anterior spinal elements.
Features and Benefits
The VERTE-SPAN® Vertebral Body Replacement device consists of a perforated cylinder and two threaded endplates that allow for vertebral replacement in the thoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbar spine. The perforated cylinder is threaded at each end. There are a variety of different cylinder lengths and diameters to accommodate the variability of patient size, anatomic variation, and the location and the size of the vertebral body defect. The threaded endplates have large spikes on each end. These spikes help stabilize the device in the vertebral endplates, and resist rotation and expulsion of the construct. Expansion to the proper length and stability is achieved by rotating the central cylinder within the endplates, lengthening the overall assembly. There are a variety of endplate angle options that make it possible to restore the normal contour of the spine. The variable length and diameter of the VERTE-SPAN® device provides surgeons the ability to span up to two vertebral bodies. Each cylinder has multiple perforations for placement of bone graft.
VERTE-SPAN® Vertebral Body Replacement is not a stand-alone device, and must be used with supplemental spinal fixation. Either anterior or posterior instrumentation must be utilized to enhance the stability of the reconstruction.
VERTE-SPAN® Vertebral Body Replacement is intended for the surgical correction and stabilization of the spine where vertebral body resection is required and replacement of the vertebral body is either necessary or desirable. This commonly occurs after resection of a tumor (i.e., swelling or tumefaction) in the anterior vertebral body. The spine and its surrounding elements have a generous blood supply, draining many of the structures of the lower abdominal cavity through a system of veins called Batson’s Plexus. This venous plexus is felt to be the reason that certain intra-abdominal and pelvic tumors have a tendency to spread to the spine. The spread or metastasis of tumors from elsewhere in the body to the spine may occur after a cancer has been growing in another part of the body.
A second indication for VERTE-SPAN® Vertebral Body Replacement is to restore vertebral body height and alignment following trauma, such as a vertebral body fracture or burst. The most common types of fractures affecting the low back are compression fractures which usually result from a fall. Burst fractures usually occur through a violent compressive load resulting in failure of both the anterior and middle columns of the vertebrae. In this case vertebral height is significantly decreased. This type of fracture is considered unstable and requires immediate stabilization of the body.
It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications, and benefits of VERTE-SPAN® Vertebral Body Replacement with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician’s judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.