The technologies transforming spine in 2018: Key thoughts from Dr. Robert Masson

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Robert Masson, MD, founder of Ocoee, Fla.-based Masson Spine Institute, examines the key spine technology trends for 2018.

Dr. Robert Masson: The trends toward increased prevalence of minimally invasive surgery are leading to increased ability to execute outpatient spine reconstruction surgery. I see an increase in system organization toward the outpatient spine reconstruction market, simplifying systems and focusing on total solutions for a spine reconstruction problem. I am hopeful that there will be an increase in arthroplasty, at least in the cervical spine in 2018 and messaging will increase the relevance of this true 'sports-spine reconstruction option.'


While the buzz has been about 3-D printed cages and surface area manipulation, the greatest opportunity for that new technology is blending delivery systems that are truly advanced interventional or microsurgical. So far the advanced surface area cages are impressive relative to bone growth but lack any originality as far as how it arrives to the disc space and with what functionality. This is a major opportunity.


I, personally, am betting on Misonix and its advanced ultrasonic bone management strategies which are being optimized to microsurgery. MIS surgery requires much more sophisticated decompression strategies and advanced drilling remains high risk for many surgeons, so this safer and improving ultrasonic technology has the potential to dramatically shift surgical decompression strategies. While robotics are on the upsurge I still feel that it is focused on the easiest part of the spinal reconstruction platform, the screw placement, so I think it is technology and expense waste for that solution.


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