Scorpion Surgical Technology (I'll even give them some press) has developed a spinal anchoring device with the intent of replacing fusion and stabilization procedures. The General Manager claims that the technology has particular value for osteoporotic patients. Question: Based on our current state of affairs in spine, have we really had bad outcomes with osteoporotic patients? One of the claims made is that the device is expected to prevent loosening of the construct and revisions. Question: Why does loosening of Pedicle Screws occur? What are the revision rates for primary fusions?
The device is supposedly geared towards minimally invasive applications. The interesting part of the video includes a Trocar Drill Guide that is part of a miniature Crane -like device. Rather than utilize a pedicle screw, this implant is called a "Curved Nail" that is cannulated and is inserted over a guide wire (I would call this percutaneous insertion) and it looks like the nail has some type of perforations for boney ingrowth. Could this be a problem if it is perforated and the surgeon needs to perform a revision? The concern that I have when I assess this technology is whether the design is really cutting down on operating room time and does it have too many parts for assembly?
But the question that SpineBlogger needs to ask is whether Israeli start-ups have an affinity for developing technologies that address questions that are not of major concern in the US Market? Example: Disc-O-Tech's Inflatable Nail or IP? At best they made some money selling the IP. Expanding Orthopaedics Expandable Pedicle Screw for osteopenic patients, Mazor Technologies, around for years, and now the Scorpion device.
Adjacent disc degeneration is a biological and chemical phenomenon that our industry believes can be minimized by designing different products with effective biomechanical variations. The question that must be asked is, will this product make a difference? The SpineBlogger will be keeping a watchful eye on this company. For those investors that are looking for a return on their investment, I have some property along the Pacific Coast Highway that might make a better investment.