Why spinal implant surface technology makes a difference: 2 key thoughts from Dr. Raphael Rey Roybal

Shayna Korol -  

Raphael Rey Roybal, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at Chatham Orthopaedic Associates in Savannah, Ga. Dr. Roybal specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and motion-sparing techniques.

Here are his thoughts on implant material and achieving successful fusion in spine surgery.


Q: How do you see implant selection, particularly the surface technology of the implant, impacting patient care?


RRR: Basic science is clearly showing that certain materials and surface topography favorably impact bone growth and fusion.  When arthrodesis is the goal of surgery, an implant with the appropriate material and surface architecture provides the best chance of biomechanical success — fusion.  In effect, the implant acts as a biomaterial.  


Q: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for continued growth and development in implant materials and nanotechnology for spine surgery?


RRR: Implants acting as a biomaterial influence the cellular reaction and response of bone-growing cells.  As science better understands these cellular interactions, and the influences of biomaterials and surfacing on these interactions, devices may effectively release this healing potential.  


Hopefully, this will provide a more economical and safer mechanism of increasing the rate of successful arthrodesis while overcoming patient variables that make it more challenging such as age, poorer bone quality, chronic disease and the like.


More articles on surface technology:

Spineology receives notice of allowance for PEEK, titanium and graft containment mesh implant system: 4 highlights

3 things to know about Kevin Gemas, president and co-founder of Titan Spine

'Bone loves titanium': Dr. Kade Huntsman on surface technology and the future of spine surgery

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