NuVasive introduces new treatment advance for spine surgery at UCSD Medical Center

San Diego 23 June 2004NuVasive Inc.'s new, minimally disruptive procedure is being performed at UCSD Medical Center to provide relief to those who suffer from back pain. The procedure, called Extreme Lateral Interbody Infusion (XLIF), is currently being performed by William Taylor, M.D., Neurosurgeon, Division of Neurosurgery, UCSD Medical Center.


"The XLIF procedure offers patients a safe and effective, less invasive alternative to traditional spine surgery", explained Dr. Taylor. "Unlike traditional back surgery, the XLIF surgery accesses the spine through the patient's side, which avoids disrupting major muscles and tissue in the back. Patients are often walking within a few days, with a typical 4-6 week recovery rather than the traditional 6+ months of recovery following a typical open back surgery."

An estimated 10 million adults suffer from the chronic back pain annually, a condition that can limit their activities. Many adults with back pain undergo traditional spine surgery, which can require months of recovery. Using XLIF, surgeons can access the spine more directly through the "flank" muscle on the patient's side. A minimally invasive approach through the side of the body avoids disrupting major muscles and tissue in the back that the surgeon traditionally has to go through to access the spine.

The XLIF procedure involves sensors that alert the surgeon if his probe is approaching one of the nerves running through the muscle, so he can steer around it. Additionally, with the XLIF procedure, the incisions are much smaller than those in traditional back surgeries. The surgeon accesses the spine through two one-inch incisions compared to the five-inch incisions necessary with traditional open back surgery. This results in minimal tissue disruption and shorter hospital stays and recovery time. Patients spend one night in the hospital compared to the five nights typical of traditional surgery patients.

The XLIF procedure is part of NuVasive's Maximum Access Surgery (MAS) system, a proprietary suite of instruments and technology, which includes the MaXcess System for minimally disruptive spine surgery and the NeuroVision JJB System, a nerve avoidance technology. When performing surgery using MaXcess and NeuroVision together, surgeons can gain novel access to the spine with better direct visualization, avoidance of critical nerves and stabilization of the spine, while still using traditional techniques.

This technology allows surgeons to perform a wide range of conventional spine procedures through a minimally invasive approach that leaves less tissue trauma and scarring. Additionally, the doctors can perform surgical procedures using instruments that are similar to those used in open procedures, but through significantly smaller incisions. The MAS system provides greater access to the spine, better visualization during surgery and speedier surgery/OR times to surgeons. NeuroVision uses electromyography, or EMG, and proprietary software to provide surgeons with an enhanced nerve avoidance platform. This means less time and cost to the patient, surgeon and hospital.

NuVasive is a medical device company focusing on the design, development and marketing of products for use in minimally disruptive surgical treatments for the spine. NuVasive's Maximum Access Surgery (MAS) product platform includes the NeuroVision nerve avoidance system, MaXcess spine access system, and specialized implants. NuVasive also offers classic fusion implant products for use in spine surgery.

Leslie Versweyveld

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