Pain Management has evolved from hot and cold therapies, the advent of TENS units, electrical bone stimulators, and chiropractic care. Even in today's world we see more and more physicians aligning themselves with chiropractic care in their offices or centers. These are only a few modalities that aide patients in alleviating pain. We have more invasive procedures being performed by interventional radiologists and anesthesiologists in some cases with the assistance of orthopedic and neurosurgeons. As this dynamic unfolded, we have more and more physicians looking to perform surgical procedures in twenty-three hour stay ambulatory surgery centers or pain management centers.
Recently, TSB wrote a blog entitled; "Is it Nu, Is it Tru, does it Loc and does it Fuse?" The blog centered on the introduction of facet fusion dowels and a rectangular wedge that had been exhibited at NASS. The reader response was overwhelming. Some intelligent, some adversarial, some beyond the sublime. But regardless of your personal opinions about people involved in this market, it seems that these little companies are picking up more and more traction in today's uncertain healthcare environment. These companies included NuTech, TruFuse, VertiLoc, Facet Fusion Technologies and even Bacterin has entered the fray (I believe they were involved with the original NuTech). In addition, word on the street has been that even NuVasive is looking at this market.
There is much controversy surrounding this modality of treatment. These allografts are manufactured out of cortical bone since it is very difficult to machine cancellous bone due to its spongy nature. In addition, most of us continue to obsess about fusion. If it doesn't fuse the facet, it's not doing its job. Along with these companies we have seen US Spine, Trans1 and Facet Solutions offer alternatives to facet pain management. So the question must be asked of our readers, are these companies going away? Or, are they taking advantage of an entirely new market that has the potential to grow regardless of how in-the-box many of us are in our thought process.
Considering that the facet has features similar to other joints in our body, is the only alternative fusion, or are we looking at this in the wrong way? The company that comes up with the best access instrumentation for percutaneous implantation and implant design could be the winner in a race that none of us know what the final outcome will be. TSB wants to know what our readers think?