Minimally invasive spine surgery system available to back pain sufferers in Southwest of United States

Scottsdale 01 March 2004Michael H. Winer, M.D., F.A.O.O.S., of Arizona Spine Care Alliance, is providing patients in the Phoenix area with a new, safe and minimally invasive option to treat serious spine disease. The Atavi Atraumatic Spine Surgery System, developed by Endius, provides a less traumatic and potentially more effective treatment alternative to traditional spine surgery for chronic back pain. Dr. Winer performs this minimally invasive procedure at several locations in the greater Phoenix area, including Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn and Arizona Surgical Hospital.


More than 12 million people in the United States suffer from chronic back pain, and one million require surgery each year to alleviate their condition. Procedures like spine fusion are often recommended for chronic back and leg pain sufferers who no longer respond to conventional therapy and surgical treatments for conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, spondylolisthesis or stenosis. However, traditional open spine surgery is highly invasive, resulting in acute post-operative pain and lengthy recovery times, as well as significant medical and insurance costs.

"The Atavi minimally invasive spine surgery procedure provides many benefits to my patients, especially compared with traditional open spine surgery: a smaller incision, preservation of muscle and tissue, shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and diminished pain", stated Dr. Michael H. Winer, of Arizona Spine Care Alliance.

At patients' three-month check-up, studies of the Atavi System show a 65 percent reduction in pain, and a rapid recovery and resumption of everyday activities. The Atavi procedure requires only one small incision on each side of the spine during the entire procedure compared to the large incision that is required with traditional open spine fusion surgery. In addition, studies show surgery with the Atavi System can result in a potential 21 percent reduction in hospital costs as compared to open surgery.

"After this surgery, there has been a 180 degree turnaround for me mentally, as well as physically. It is the first time in 10 years that I can actually touch my toes", stated Lisa Kiser, an attorney and resident of Chandler, Arizona. "After spending almost all of my twenties in pain and almost completely immobile, I am making up for lost time. Because of Atavi, I am able to enjoy an active lifestyle once again, such as travelling, jet skiing, hiking and swimming."

According to clinical results of the Atavi System, patients showed a 55 percent improvement in their ability to carry out daily, routine activities over three months following surgery. In addition, 89 percent of non-retired patients had returned to work by their three-month checkup.

Atavi, a streamlined and fully integrated surgical system, combines novel access technology with advanced visualization and instrumentation capabilities. This unique combination of features enables surgeons to perform virtually all of the steps of a complete posterolateral lumbar spine surgery through the same access portal while preserving the fundamentals of the traditional open surgical technique. While Atavi can be used endoscopically, it is also compatible with surgical loupes and a microscope, enabling surgeons to select the exact visualization method that best suits their needs and likes.

Endius' minimally invasive approach also has potential to minimize "fusion disease", or "failed back syndrome", a common and debilitating condition attributed to trauma to surrounding muscle tissue caused while gaining access to the surgical site during the traditional invasive open fusion procedure. Fusion disease and/or failed back syndrome can lead to chronic post-operative pain even if the radiographic fusion is successful.

Clinical results for Endius' single-level minimally invasive lumbar spine fusion procedure show significant benefits compared to the open procedure, considerable reduction in the use of narcotic pain medications, less blood loss and reduced hospital stay(s), all contributing to a potential 21 percent reduction in hospital costs. More than 900 patients have been treated with Atavi by more than 130 surgeons in leading hospitals nationwide.

Founded in 1997, Endius, an expert in minimally invasive spine fusion surgery, has developed breakthrough minimally invasive spine surgery products and implants to treat serious spine disease. Atavi, Endius' Atraumatic Spine Surgery System, which obtained FDA clearance of its 510(k) in October 2000, is currently being utilized in hospitals nationwide. Atavi is the only fully integrated system that enables surgeons to perform lumbar spine fusion minimally invasively, with one access portal, while preserving the fundamentals of the traditional open surgical technique. Endius provides comprehensive surgeon education programmes, and operates training facilities across the United States.

Leslie Versweyveld

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