Andrew Hecht, MD, chief of spine surgery at The Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, outlines the key trends and big opportunities in the spine device space moving forward.
Question: What emerging technology or technique do you think will have the biggest impact on the spine field five years from now?
Dr. Andrew Hecht: The biggest technology innovation will fall under a few different categories. The first big technological innovation will be increasing the use of image guidance and robotic technology to try to make procedures less invasive and improve the overall accuracy of the placement of instrumentation. The other big technological innovations will revolve around improvements in the use of biologics for both the enhancement of spinal fusion and disc biology and repair.
Q: Where do you see the biggest room for innovation in spine?
AH: The biggest innovations in spine will continue to grow out of biological solutions to spine disorders. Some of the most promising avenues of research involve the reversal of disc degeneration and annular repair. The disc represents a unique therapeutic target for anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic solutions. Annular repair also represents an area of increased interest and therapeutic potential for both post-discectomy repair and annular disruptions.
Q: Which technologies do you think will disappear in the next five years?
AH: Technologies that should hopefully disappear over the next several years will be lumbar disc replacement as well as things like sacroiliac joint fusion. These technologies I think will, in the end, prove to be of little benefit to patients over time.
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