The first spinal fusion patient in the USA has been treated with Benvenue Medical’s minimally invasive Luna 360 interbody fusion system. The surgery was performed at Washington Hospital in Fremont, USA, by Sandeep Kunwar, a neurosurgeon at Washington Township Medical Foundation and an associate clinical professor of neurological surgery at University of California, San Francisco.
“The Luna 360 is an important advancement in spinal fusion,” said Kunwar. “Its ability to expand in three dimensions allows me to place a large, supporting spacer into the spine while utilising a very small incision. This minimises nerve retraction and allows patients to recover more quickly.”
Benvenue Medical says that the Luna 360 is different from other spinal fusion devices and presents benefits for both spine surgeons and patients:
- Luna 360 can be expanded after being placed within the disc space. This mitigates the need to impact a large spacer into the collapsed space, which can damage the vertebral body.
- Luna 360 is designed to be inserted in a linear, elongated state to minimise tissue retraction and protect the neural structures.
- Once positioned inside the disc, the implant expands in three dimensions to create a large footprint for stable fixation.
- Bone grafting is optimised, since graft material is placed into the implant after expansion.
“Washington Hospital’s early adoption of the Luna System demonstrates that hospitals and surgeons are actively seeking out less invasive treatment options for degenerative disc disease,” said Robert Weigle, chief executive officer of Benvenue Medical.
Rick Simmons, Benvenue Medical’s vice president of sales and marketing, explained to Spinal News International why the Luna 360 is an important development: “What Luna really represents is the next generation of minimally invasive access and implants. With the Luna 360 we have been able to go in extremely small, anywhere from 5-8mm via tubular access, and make a 1 inch circular footprint that expands between 8mm and 13mm. All of this expansion can be done with minimal soft tissue damage and neural retraction, and without any mechanical force, ensuring complete control. It is a very elegant delivery, and we can then conduct expansion in situ, right there in the disk space.”
Simmons notes that interactions with surgeons aided Benvenue Medical in the Luna 360 development process. “The hallmarks of a good company are adaptability and active listening. The company went about exploring the lumbar fusion market by talking to physicians, which has brought us to this point. The original impetus for Luna 360 was really spine surgeon and customer conversation about their needs.”