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The 2 non-fusion technologies, 1 ACDF device Dr. Thomas Scully uses as he moves away from PEEK Featured

Written by  Megan Wood | Friday, 10 November 2017 18:06
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Thomas Scully, MD, Tucson, Ariz.-based Northwest NeuroSpecialists, discusses which innovative spine techniques — including non-fusion technology and titanium devices — impact how he practices. He also shares the greatest challenges he faces as a spine surgeon today.

Dr. Scully will be speaking at the Becker's 16th Annual Future of Spine + The Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. To learn more and register, click here.

 

Question: What are one or two new spine techniques you think will impact your practice? Are you implementing any of them now?

 

Dr. Thomas Scully: I have been using more non-fusion technologies, such as coflex as well as cervical total disc replacements. I anticipate I will continue to use them. In addition, I am excited about various fusion surfaces for our implants. I have moved away from PEEK. I have been experimenting with various titanium devices as well as a newer implant.

 

RTI's Tetrafuse is a novel surface that I have implanted in some ACDF patients and I really like its properties. It is also much easier to determine fusion status with it compared to titanium. In addition, it possesses some of the benefits of PEEK from the modulus of elasticity perspective. However, it is not hydrophobic, rather, it promotes fusion.

 

Q: What are spine surgeons' greatest concerns or challenges right now?

 

TS: There are, as usual, many! Insurance companies' continued lack of authorizations for procedures or imaging and the incessant hoops to jump through to care for patients continues to loom large. I really think the progressively aging community makes it difficult to know how aggressive to be with octogenarians, etc. We need to be good stewards with Medicare dollars, but, also not deprive patients of increased quality of life given the right spinal surgical procedure.

 

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