Thursday, October 22, 2009

Custom Spine AVID: Three Years in the Making

Custom Spine announced that it received 510k approval from the FDA for the commercial launch of the AVID. Wasn't this product shown at a 2006 spine meeting in Washington, D.C.? As per their press release the AVID is an articulating TLIF device consisting of three intra-linked spacers.

Lew Bennett was quoted as saying; "we are excited to bring this unique interbody spacer to the market and BELIEVE THIS DEVICE MAY FACILITATE A QUICKER RECOVERY FOR THE PATIENT WHEN COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL TLIF." REALLY? Most of us didn't know that Bennett was now performing surgery. These are the type of comments that need to be reined in. It's almost as bad as Larry Khoo being quoted saying; "Minimally Invasive TLIF using hydrosurgical tools reduces post-op complications to conventional methods while producing SIMILAR FUSION RATES TO BMP."

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if Custom can build some traction with this product considering that it has become known as a company for decreasing commission rates and firing successful distributors only to replace them with scrub technicians. Only time will tell! TSB wants to know if our readers are ready to articulate?


  1. MM, Lew Bennet's remark is the worse transgression. One can at least theoretically build a case, be it a far fetched one, that using hydrosurgical tools may have some biological advantages over osteotomes and drills. Saying that the 200th interbody spacer will allow patients to recover faster than if treated with one of the other 199 available, is just illustrating how there is absolutely nothing new to say about these things. Someone in his eighties should know better. They must be desperate.

  2. Jempye: Thanks for your commentary! Another piece of PEEK, another product with a new "spin," a higher list price, at a time when hospitals are driving down the price of PEEK spacers. Who really cares that it articulates? Three to four years of engineering time? Wow! PS: I didn't know that we were having bad results with the TLIF's that already exist? It's time that investors stop believing "like a million" Lew and cut through that sweet southern charm of his.

  3. AVID could face some potential complications such as tissue from the disc space getting in between the articulating joints, making it difficult to close and lock. I'm sure the surgeon owners have encountered this already. As far as less invasive, pretty sure putting in AVID with their ISSYS screw is going to be done the same way, same approach and same sized incision. Good idea with AVID but too late and too expensive.