The North American Spine Society (NASS) 2023 conference in Los Angeles, California, was a remarkable gathering of medical minds and technological innovation. Amidst the plethora of exhibitors and presenters, NEXT® Orthosurgical stood out, captivating the attention of both spine surgeons and the media. Our team at "Doctech.live," a Med-Tech Innovation Report and journalist company sponsored by Ghost Productions Inc., had the privilege of interviewing Jeff Solimine, the R&D Manager at NEXT Orthosurgical, to unveil the groundbreaking technology underpinning the NEXT® Orthosurgical Interfuse System.
Situated in Vista, California, NEXT Orthosurgical is on a mission to elevate the experiences of both patients and surgeons by pioneering next-generation spinal solutions. Their hallmark lies in their unwavering commitment to precision, patient-centric design, and clinical excellence, setting them apart in the industry.
The star of their NASS 2023 showcase was the NEXT® Orthosurgical Interfuse System, a modular interbody system that redefines spinal surgery. This innovative system allows surgeons to implant a substantial device through a minimally invasive posterior approach, mitigating trauma and expediting the healing process. The true game-changer, however, is its proprietary intraoperative assembly technology, which can be tailored to match the unique anatomical shape of each patient's disc space. This distinctive feature fosters fusion and enhances stability, marking a watershed moment in spine surgery.
Jeff Solimine, during our interview, elaborated on the Interfuse System's design and its critical significance. He highlighted that traditional posterior interbodies are often narrow. Surgeons typically insert two of these narrow interbodies from the posterior aspect of the spine. Yet, due to their smaller size, there is an elevated risk of subsidence, where the implanted device may sink into the bone, leading to a loss of disc height.
In contrast, the Interfuse System provides an elegant solution to this issue. It can expand laterally to create an ALIF-sized footprint while being implanted through a minimally invasive posterior approach. This means that patients can benefit from a larger interbody, significantly reducing the risk of subsidence and thereby improving the overall surgical outcome.
One of the most notable advantages of the Interfuse System is its ability to facilitate the entire procedure from a posterior approach. Solimine underscored that this approach not only saves time but also minimizes blood loss and lowers the risks associated with repositioning the patient during surgery. The capability to insert larger interbodies through posterior access points is a game-changer for both surgeons and patients alike.
Solimine acknowledged that while the Interfuse System offers substantial benefits for patients, it necessitates surgeons to adapt to a slightly different surgical procedure. Constructing a larger interbody within the disc space itself does require a bit more time than inserting two standard interbodies. However, the advantages for the patient, including reduced subsidence, make it a worthwhile investment.
To address the learning curve for surgeons, Next Orthosurgical has developed a comprehensive training program. Surgeons have the opportunity to receive in-house training or participate in demonstrations provided by the company. The goal is to ensure that surgeons are proficient and well-prepared to execute these procedures effectively.
In discussing the training process, Solimine explained that they employ a combination of cadavers and sawbones. Cadavers provide surgeons with an experience that closely mimics operating on a live patient. This hands-on experience is invaluable for building confidence and expertise with the Interfuse System. Additionally, anatomical models made of bone-like material, known as sawbones, are also utilized to further refine surgeons' skills. This blend of training tools caters to surgeons of varying experience levels, guaranteeing their readiness to utilize the Interfuse System to its full potential.
The NEXT® Orthosurgical Interfuse System represents a significant leap forward in the realm of spine surgery. Offering a posterior approach with larger interbodies, it effectively addresses the issue of subsidence and enhances patient outcomes. Next Orthosurgical's commitment to providing thorough training for surgeons ensures that this pioneering technology can be harnessed to its fullest potential. As we peer into the future of spine surgery, innovations like the Interfuse System hold the promise of revolutionizing the field and elevating the lives of both patients and surgeons. NASS 2023 provided a tantalizing glimpse into this exciting future, with Next Orthosurgical boldly leading the way.
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