A new back implant that banishes pain and keeps your spine flexible is now being used on patients with severe back pain, says the Daily Mail Good Health.
Unlike traditional surgery, this technique does not restrict movement. John Fowler a consultant spinal surgeon at BMI Sarum Road Winchester says that he’s been a cautious TOPS (name of technique) user for a few years and believes it’s a useful device for a small group of patients with particular spinal problems. This device allows complete removal of the joints if they are what is causing the problem. It is essentially a joint replacement (like a hip or knee joint replacement) for the spine.
Bob Chatterjee, a consultant spinal surgeon at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Highgate Private Hospital in London said that about 11 per cent of adults have back pain as a result of malalignment in the back or spondylolisthesis where the vertebra move out of position.
The new implant realigns the joint while maintaining its flexibility. The 10cm-long TOPS implant has four ‘leg’ attachments made of titanium, which rotate to replicate how normal spine joint moves.
There are only a handful of UK surgeons fitting these implant but Mr. Chatterjee said that given the advantages, it marks a move away from fusion as the conventional way to treat many back problems.