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Patent: To Treat That Back With Resilient Inserts.
Patent: To Treat That Back With Resilient Inserts. | hou_txbz, aust_txba, Wesley Hunt, aust_txbz, H. Kim Lee,Anwar Qadir, Cleveland, Lake Jackson, Alex Change, 8197512, Spine Stabilization, Resilient Inserts, surgery,

Wesley Hunt of Austin, H. Kim Le of Houston, Alex Change of Lake Jackson and Anwaar Qadir of Cleveland, Texas, recently received U.S. Patent 8,197,512 for “System and Method for Spine Stabilization Using Resilient Inserts.”

Texas Business Patent of the Day:  Four Texas residents devised a new way to treat back trouble.

Wesley Hunt of Austin, H. Kim Le of Houston, Alex Change of Lake Jackson and Anwaar Qadir of Cleveland, Texas, recently received U.S. Patent 8,197,512 for “System and Method for Spine Stabilization Using Resilient Inserts.”

 The four Texans applied for the patent almost four years ago on July 16, 2008. 

The patent assignee is Zimmer Spine Inc. of Minneapolis, MN.

The invention generally relates to spinal stabilization systems, according to the patent documents. More particularly, the invention relates to spinal stabilization systems that may have non-threaded portions for securing rods to bone fasteners. 

Bone may be subject to degeneration caused by trauma, disease, and/or aging. Degeneration may destabilize bone and affect surrounding structures. For example, destabilization of a spine may result in alteration of a natural spacing between adjacent vertebrae.

Alteration of a natural spacing between adjacent vertebrae may subject nerves that pass between vertebral bodies to pressure. Pressure applied to the nerves may cause pain and/or nerve damage. Maintaining the natural spacing between vertebrae may reduce pressure applied to nerves that pass between vertebral bodies. A spinal stabilization procedure may be used to maintain the natural spacing between vertebrae and promote spinal stability. 

Spinal stabilization may involve accessing a portion of the spine through soft tissue. Spinal stabilization systems for a lumbar region of the spine may be inserted during a spinal stabilization procedure using a posterior spinal approach. Minimally invasive procedures and systems may reduce recovery time as well as trauma to the soft tissue surrounding a stabilization site. 

A spinal stabilization system may be installed in a patient to stabilize a portion of a spine. A spinal stabilization system may be installed using a minimally invasive procedure. An instrumentation kit may provide instruments and spinal stabilization system components necessary for forming a spinal stabilization system in a patient. 

A spinal stabilization system may be used to achieve rigid pedicle fixation while minimizing the amount of damage to surrounding tissue. In some embodiments, a spinal stabilization system may be used to provide stability to two or more vertebrae. A spinal stabilization system may include a rod, two or more bone fastener assemblies, and/or a resilient insert. The bone fastener assembly may include a bone fastener and a cylindrical body. A first portion of the bone fastener may couple to a portion of the spine during use. A first portion of a cylindrical body may couple to a second portion of the bone fastener. A second portion of the cylindrical body may couple to a rod during use. In some embodiments, an orientation of the bone fastener may be independent of the orientation of the cylindrical body for a bone fastener assembly. After the bone fastener is placed in a vertebral body, the cylindrical body coupled to the bone fastener may be positioned so that the rod can be positioned in the cylindrical body and in at least one other cylindrical body that is coupled to another vertebral body by a bone fastener. 

Embodiments disclosed may be directed to an apparatus for anchoring a rod to a bone fastener. The apparatus may include a first resilient insert having a first set of two deflectable arms and a first channel formed between the first set of two deflectable arms, a second resilient insert having a second set of two deflectable arms and a second channel formed between the second set of two deflectable arms, and a cylindrical body having a passage from a first end to a second end therein, wherein the passage in the cylindrical body has an inner diameter. In some embodiments, the first resilient insert has a width greater than the inner diameter of the cylindrical body when the first resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, advancement of the first resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the first set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the first channel to decrease, and inhibiting the first resilient insert from moving relative to the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, the second resilient insert has a width greater than the inner diameter of the cylindrical body when the second resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, advancement of the second resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the second set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the second channel to decrease and inhibiting the second resilient insert from moving relative to the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise beveled surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise radiused surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, the second end of the cylindrical body comprises two recessed portions, wherein each recessed portion has an associated width greater than the diameter of the rod. In some embodiments, the first channel in the first resilient insert comprises a first slot. In some embodiments, compression of the first slot deflects the first set of two deflectable arms inward to decrease the width of the first channel. In some embodiments, the second channel in the second resilient insert comprises a second slot. In some embodiments, compression of the second slot deflects the second set of two deflectable arms inward to decrease the width of the second channel. In some embodiments, at least one of the first resilient insert and the second resilient insert is cannulated. 

Embodiments disclosed herein may be directed to a system for stabilizing a portion of a spine. The system may include a rod having a substantially circular cross-sectional geometry, two or more bone fasteners, two or more anchor assemblies, and a cylindrical body having a passage from a first end to a second end, wherein the passage in the cylindrical body has an inner diameter. In some embodiments, each bone fastener comprises a threaded shank and a head connected to the threaded shank and having an associated diameter. In some embodiments, each anchor assembly comprises a first resilient insert having a first set of two deflectable arms and a first channel formed between the first set of two deflectable arms, a second resilient insert having a second set of two deflectable arms and a second channel formed between the second set of two deflectable arms, and a cylindrical body having a passage from a first end to a second end. In some embodiments, the first resilient insert has a width greater than the inner diameter of the cylindrical body when the first resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, advancement of the first resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the first set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the first channel to decrease, and inhibiting the first resilient insert from moving relative to the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, the second resilient insert has a width greater than the inner diameter of the cylindrical body when the second resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, advancement of the second resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the second set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the second channel to decrease and inhibiting the second resilient insert from moving relative to the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise beveled surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise radiused surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, the second end of the cylindrical body comprises two recessed portions, wherein each recessed portion has an associated width greater than the diameter of the rod. In some embodiments, the first channel in the first resilient insert comprises a first slot, wherein compression of the first slot deflects the first set of two deflectable arms inward to decrease the width of the first channel. In some embodiments, compression of the second slot deflects the second set of two deflectable arms inward to decrease the width of the second channel. 

Embodiments disclosed herein may be directed to a method for coupling a rod to a portion of the spine. The method may include advancing a bone fastener into a vertebral body, advancing a first resilient insert onto the head of the bone fastener, positioning a passage of a first end of a cylindrical body over the first resilient insert, positioning a second resilient insert in the second end of the cylindrical body, positioning a portion of a rod in the second channel in the second resilient insert, and advancing the first resilient insert and the second resilient insert into the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, the bone fastener comprises a head having an associated diameter and a threaded shank connected to the head. In some embodiments, the first resilient insert comprises a first set of two deflectable arms and a first channel formed between the first set of two deflectable arms, wherein the width of the first channel of the first resilient insert is greater than the diameter of the head of the bone fastener when the first resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, the second resilient insert comprises a second set of two deflectable arms and a second channel formed between the second set of two deflectable arms, wherein the width of the second channel of the second resilient insert is greater than the diameter of a rod when the second resilient insert is in a neutral state. In some embodiments, a width of the first resilient insert is greater than the inner diameter of the passage of the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, advancing the first resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the first set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the first channel to decrease and inhibiting the bone fastener positioned in the first channel of the first resilient insert from moving relative to the first resilient insert. In some embodiments, a width of the second resilient insert is greater than the inner diameter of the passage of the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, advancing the second resilient insert into the passage in the cylindrical body deflects the second set of two deflectable arms inward, causing the width of the second channel to decrease and inhibiting the rod positioned in the second channel of the second resilient insert from moving relative to the second resilient insert. 

In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise beveled surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of the two deflectable arms comprise radiused surfaces proximate the first channel or the second channel. In some embodiments, the second end of the cylindrical body comprises two recessed portions, wherein each recessed portion has an associated width greater than the diameter of the rod. In some embodiments, at least one of the first set of two deflectable arms and the second set of two deflectable arms has a first width and a second width that is greater than the first width. In some embodiments, advancing the first resilient insert into the cylindrical body comprises advancing the first resilient insert until the first width thereof contacts interior walls of the second end of the cylindrical body and the second width thereof is compressed against the interior walls of the second end of the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, advancing the second resilient insert into the cylindrical body comprises advancing the second resilient insert until the first width thereof contacts interior walls of the second end of the cylindrical body and the second width thereof is compressed against the interior walls of the second end of the cylindrical body. In some embodiments, the channel in each resilient insert comprises a slot such that compression of the slot deflects the two deflectable arms inward. In some embodiments, one or more steps are performed using Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) procedures. In some embodiments, at least one of the two resilient inserts is cannulated. 

Different instruments may be used to form a spinal stabilization system in a patient using a minimally invasive procedure. The instruments may include, but are not limited to, positioning needles, guide wires, sleeves, bone fastener driver, mallets, tissue wedges, tissue retractors, tissue dilators, bone awls, taps, and a rod length estimator. An instrumentation kit may include, but is not limited to, two or more detachable members such as sleeves, a tissue wedge, a rod positioner, a counter torque wrench, an estimating tool, a seater, insert driver, and/or combinations.