Posted February 07, 2019 07:30:19 A new spinal surgery treatment is showing promise in patients with spinal stenoses, with a trial of a noninvasive surgery showing results that could one day be used for patients suffering from chronic spinal conditions.
Cleveland Clinic researchers say they have successfully implanted a small device in the neck of one patient, and are hoping to begin a larger trial of the device in patients in a few weeks.
The device is a small plastic tube about the size of a tennis ball with a small metal collar that sits inside the skull, and is connected to a mechanical actuator that sends electrical impulses to the skin around the neck, according to a press release from the Cleveland Clinic.
The actuator uses an electrode in the collar to control the rate of spinal fluid production, which helps the collar move.
The Cleveland Clinic researchers plan to test the device for several months in the head and neck of two patients.
The patients, who each had spinal stenotic conditions, will receive an MRI scan to assess their spinal fluid levels.
They will be treated with a cocktail of medications to help control their pain.
The researchers said the device has been in clinical trials in patients who had spinal conditions that made it difficult to move their neck in normal movement.
The device was designed to be used with noninvasively implanted microcarpal blades, which help patients walk, sit or move with a little less force.
The devices could be used in the future in patients suffering nerve damage from multiple sclerosis, spinal stenotics and traumatic brain injuries, the press release said.
The first patient in the study had no pain, but she also suffered from chronic pain, according the release.
It was hoped the device could help reduce the severity of the pain.
“This could be the key to our ability to deliver effective treatment,” said lead researcher and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery Dr. Michael Sperling.
“There are a lot of people who are suffering from multiple pain conditions and this could be a new way to address the pain and help these people get better,” said Dr. Daniel Nissen, a professor of neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The other patient in that trial also had spinal problems.
They were using the same device, but Dr. Nissel said the new device was much less painful.
The team plans to start a larger study of the devices with a different group of patients.
The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army.