Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Recently, OTW published an article that talks about how "cool" and innovative the UPLIF is. Hey Robin, "cool" is a word out of the sixties, you're showing your age. In the interest of innovation and design, TSB is going to ask our readers to be the jury on VTI's UPLIF. So here are the questions:

Has anyone outside of the consulting surgeons had their surgeons use this product?
How long does it take to implant?
Is this design innovative and cool? (I threw that one in for Robin)
Are there any concerns that this design will effectively fill the disc space?
Does this device have the ability to distract or "jack up" (my inner city roots) the foramen?
How easy was it to "track" this device or slide it in comparison to a regular PLIF?
How much does this device cost?

PS: Robin is taking a beating in a poll sponsored by www.orthospinenews.blogspot.com. Since its election day across this great country, get out and give him a vote. He can't go down in a rout to my hippie friend JE. Let your voices be heard. TSB wants to know what its readers think?


  1. As an addendum to this article, one of our sources stated that this product is billed out at roughly $8-$10 thousand. All for the love of MIS? If there is any truth to the cost, TSB has one comment; "You've Got to be Kidding!:

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  3. I've seen a few of these cages go in and must admit that I think it's a pretty "cool" technology. I'll comment on a few of TSB's questions:

    It doesn't take very long to put in. Now if you have an impatient surgeon whose main goal is to get done as fast as possible, then he/she won't be patient enough for this.

    If the surgeon does a thorough and complete discectomy, implanting the cage, sliding the otehr modules down the rails and sliding the cage over as you add pieces, isn't very difficult or time consuming at all. It just take a 5 more minutes that whacking in a TLIF cage or a couple of PLIF cages.

    Every case I've seen 5-6 modules (six being the maximum) go in, so you get a cage diameter of 39.5mm - 47.4mm...all through a 8mm box cut just medial to a left or right facet.

    You combine those diameters with 8mm-14mm height options, and the disc space if definitely adequatley filled and foramens "jacked up"

    The one thing I will say is that since you have to slide the cage over across the disc space as you add modules to make the cage wider, you have to really emphasize the surgeon to size the cage to where it's snug, not loose, and not tight. A lot of surgeons are used to that press fit and whacking it in there, so you have to really pound the idea of sizing and distracting to where you can slide the cage over into their heads. (no pun intended)

    Lastly, in my opinion I am impressed and I think it's cool!...and yes, it's expensive...but 8-10 thousand!...I don't know about that...not at my hospital!!!

  4. Ghostrider: Excellent commentary, hopefully many surgeons will give this product an opportunity and who knows with a little education VTI should have success. But that's the real challenge, educating a group of individuals that always feel that they don't need to be taught the nuances of the product. Base on these comments, Robin was right, this is cool-daddy'o and innovative, CHEERS!

  5. I have seen 3 dozen of these cases... and I have to tell you that it really is cool. I've looked in to the company and their future products are even cooler... Someone will pick up this company.
    I know the list price isn't even 8k let alone 10.
    These guys work with hospitals to get the right price. So their list price is negotiable. Two PLIF cages cost over 6k, and the old stalif was 9k.
    You get an ALIF footprint through a one side plif approach which from the cases I've seen takes less time than doing a standard PLIF. Its sexy, unique and something to open the doors with these days.

  6. Just noticed this thread. I'm just a plain old orthopedic spine surgeon in private practice, as opposed to a consultant. I've done about 15 or so InterFuse cases and have been happy with most. My only real problems have been with the additional use of BMP in the modules and heterotopic bone in the canal/radiculitis......naturally, I've stopped the use of BMP via a posterior approach! I believe the asking price for a 6-module pack is $8300 with many hospitals (according to OMG purchasing agreements) paying in the ballpark of $6000. This device would be a nice add-on for one of the big five implant makers. Can't wait for the nuclear replacement from VTI.

  7. dear friends, I have a question from chile.
    very recently that VTI is entering the country and want to know, as they do to distract, and not have the RISKS that this can be moved?