Vertebral Body Replacement – Synex II Complications and Side Effects
Vertebral body replacement is an advanced type of spinal surgery whereby a damage vertebral is replaced with an artificial vertebral. As a result, patients are able to regain mobility and perform many everyday activities. vertebral replacement surgery also helps reduce pain caused by fractured or unstable vertebrae. The three leading manufacturers of vertebral body replacement devices in the United States are Medtronic, Synthes and Stryker.
Vertebral Replacement Surgery: Indications
Vertebral replacement surgery is usually recommended for patients with severely damaged vertebrae. Such damage can result from tumors, compression fractures or burst fractures. As a result, the vertebral becomes unstable, compromising the stability of the whole spine and causing persistent pain. While spinal tumors are rare, they can destroy the integrity of the spinal structures, especially if surgical tumor removal is performed. Most often, spinal tumors do not originate in the spine but metastasize to the spine from other locations throughout the body. While it is unknown why many tumors metastasize to the spine, physicians and researchers have suggested that this is due to the generous blood supply to the spinal tissues.
The delicate vertebrae of the spine can also become damaged due to fractures. This type of injury typically results from falls and is more common in older patients. Fractures often destabilize the vertebrae and decrease their height. Sometimes, fractures cal lead to complete vertebrae collapse. This is a dangerous condition requiring immediate treatment in order to avoid permanent damage.
Vertebral Body Replacement Surgery
Vertebral replacement surgery is performed under complete anesthesia. During this procedure, the surgeon carefully removes the damaged natural vertebral and replaces it with an artificial vertebral body. The vertebral implant consists of a perforated cylinder with two threaded endplates. The endplates have large spikes that are used to stabilize the implant. The cylinder has multiple perforations that are used for placement of bone graft. The cylinder is available in different lengths and diameters in order to accommodate the anatomy of each patient. vertebral body replacement is used together with supplemental spinal fixation to achieve the best possible results.
Vertebral Body Replacement Complications
While vertebral replacement surgery has helped many patients enhance their range of motion and quality of life, this procedure can cause serious complications. Some of the more troublesome Synex vertebral body replacement side effects related to the Synthes products include vertebral body height reduction and collapse. These events can cause severe back pain, limited range of motion, abnormal spinal curve and overall spinal instability. Patients with collapsed or compromised vertebral implants might require additional surgery to repair the damage. Additional surgery means additional anesthesia, infection risk and recovery time, all of which might have been avoided if the spinal replacement device had functioned properly.
Serious vertebral replacement side effects recently led to a Class I recall of Synthes vertebral replacement devices. The Synthes recall was announced on November 12, 2009, after the FDA learned that six of the company's Ti Synex II Central Body Replacement devices had collapsed only several months after the surgery.
Other Vertebral Body Replacement Manufacturers: Medtronic and Stryker
Medtronic and Stryker provide vertebral replacement devices similar to those produced by Synthes. While Medtronic and Stryker distinguish their products as having certain special features, all vertebral replacement products are based on the same principles. They replace damaged vertebrae, thus improving spinal stability, increasing range of motion, and alleviating pain.
Contacting an Experienced Synthes Attorney
If you are suffering pain several months after undergoing vertebral replacement surgery with Synex implant, you might be entitled to compensation for you physical, emotional and financial damages.