Alabama Patent of the Month – August 2022

Arthritis is often thought of in the wrists – with inflammation and swelling leading to pain and a loss of dexterity, but it can actually impact any joint. Arthritis in the cervical spine can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal throughout the neck. Once this narrowing reaches severe levels, the spinal cord is compressed. Curiteva, Inc. – experts in innovative spinal implants – has recently designed an expandable laminoplasty device meant to reduce this compression, protecting the spine from arthritic pressure. 

Cervical laminoplasty is a surgical procedure that aims to create more space for the spinal cord without needing fusion of any vertebrae. This means motion and flexibility are maintained after the procedure. The device designed by Curiteva allows the surgeon to adjust the degree of expansion in order to customize the opening to the patient. The device has two plates – superior and inferior – and a threaded post attached to each. A gear engages the threads of the post to expand or compress as needed.

The device is positioned on the vertebrae. A hooked end of the superior plate connects the lamina – which was cut during initial incision. The inferior plate rests on the lateral mass of the vertebra. Each end is then secured in place by fasteners. The surgeon then rotates the gear to expand the laminoplasty device, creating or enlarging the spinal canal opening of the vertebra.

Curiteva continually works to enhance their devices and develop new designs that help surgeons overcome the common limitations of surgery. These designs are meant to ensure that the outcome of surgeries reflect the ability of the surgeons, rather than the limitations of their implants and instruments.

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