Northern California surgeon performs spine surgery with minimally invasive Atavi atraumatic system

Santa Cruz 13 July 2004Back pain specialist and orthopaedic surgeon Bruce S. Orisek, M.D., is providing patients in the Northern California region with a 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. Orisek performs this minimally invasive procedure at several hospitals in the Santa Cruz area, including Watsonville Community Hospital, Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and Dominican Hospital.


More than one million people in the United States suffering from serious back pain require surgery each year to alleviate their condition. Procedures such as 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.

"People suffering from serious back pain often live for many years with little-to-no relief from their suffering. As a physician, I want to do what is best for my patients and help reduce or eliminate their discomfort", stated Dr. Bruce Orisek. "Minimally invasive spine surgery with the Atavi System can provide better results for my patients, since it results in less blood loss, preserves healthy tissue and requires only one or two small incisions throughout the entire procedure. Many are able to leave the hospital after a very short stay and quickly resume activities of daily living with less pain."

At patients' three month check-up, a study of the Atavi Atraumatic Spine Surgery System has shown a 65 percent reduction in pain, and a rapid recovery and resumption of everyday activities. In addition, independent cost analysis shows surgery with the Atavi System can result in a potential 21 percent reduction in hospital costs as compared to open surgery.

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 check-up. These results were published in the October 2002 Endius clinical white paper "Endoscopic Posterolateral Fusion and Pedicle Screw Fixation: Initial Results", written by Casper, D. et al.

"I had been living with debilitating back pain for more than 20 years, and had tried almost every type of treatment to alleviate my suffering but nothing worked. I even had spine fusion and was reluctant to have another procedure", stated Diane Spence of Aptos, California. "I am thankful that Dr. Orisek knew about performing minimally invasive surgery with the Atavi System. It has only been a few months since my surgery, but I can now walk without pain and am getting back to living a normal life again."

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 surgery 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 1000 procedures have been performed with Atavi by more than 140 surgeons in leading hospitals nationwide.

Founded in 1997, Endius, specialised in minimally invasive spine 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 surgery 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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