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Everything about Lumbar or Low Back

Everything about Lumbar or Low Back implants to stabilize the Spine?

June 16, 2020

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Implants used in lumbar fusion operations may be divided into two groups:

  • Those placed within space of the interbody.

  • The ones placed on the spine to ensure stabilization.

The main aim of stabilization implants in lumbar is to:

  • To help preserve and retain natural lumbar spine orientation.

  • Hold the spine stability during fusion.

Stabilization implants are known to be temporary instruments and once fusion happens their work ceases. They can be extracted, if deemed necessary, after solid fusion. Implants are not excluded in most situations though. These are-:

Anterior Lumbar Plates

Anterior Lumbar plates are a type of broad plates usually positioned at level L5-S1 during an anterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure (ALIF). The plates are made from holes through which the screws anchor the plates onto the body of the vertebrae. While you are bending backward, These plates avoid opening up of the interbody space.

Lumbar Plates

Lumbar plates are provided in various lengths and for a pedicle screw connection with several gaps. Nuts attach the screws into each block. Owing to the stability of the lumbar plates they offer a strong attachment to the posterior (back) spine. These lumbar plates are made of stainless steel and titanium. New technologies are being produced from glass.

Pedicle screws

These come in diameters and lengths of distance, and are constructed of metal; usually titanium or stainless. Such specifically built screws are inserted through the vertebral body from behind through the cylinder-shaped pedicle opening. Surgeons prefer pedicle screws, as they provide the spine with a strong anchor. Screws are often fitted into both vertebral pedicles. The pedicle screws are then connected to rods or plates which stretch to the adjacent vertebrae in order to provide a secure connection such that fusion takes place.

Rods

To maintain stabilization, the rods bind to pedicle screws. As per research, Rods are more adaptable than plates, which provide more possibilities for the surgeon when inserting pedicle screws. Various styles of connections fasten the rod and screws together securely. Rods are made primarily of metals such as stainless steel, titanium, and cobalt-chromium.

Hooks

Hooks are joined by rods and fasten over the tops of the lamina. Today, pedicle screws have largely replaced hooks, although hooks are sometimes added to the pedicle screw fastener.

Wires and cables

Wires and cables are wound around the lamina or processes that are spinous and tightened to restrict motion. Rarely are wires and cables used to handle the degenerative lumbar conditions surgically.

Crosslinks

During your spine surgery, 2 rods and plates are attached to crosslinks. As these provide more strength and stability. These crosslinks are made with the same materials from which rods and plates are constructed.