Medtronic launches Cervical FacetLiftSM ID/S surgical technique


Medtronic has announced the US launch of the Cervical FacetLiftSM ID/S surgical technique, an innovative procedure that indirectly decompresses the neural foramen and stabilises the cervical spine. The announcement was made at the 40th annual meeting of the Cervical Spine Research Society (Chicago, USA, 6–8 December).

This technique, according to a company release, is accomplished by placing structured allograft spacers (Cornerstone Facet MicroGrafts) into the posterior cervical facet joints. The system is comprised of a small set of surgical instrumentation that will aid in the preparation of the facet joints and for the placement of the grafts into the joints.

The company also states that this technique increases the volumetric area of the exiting nerve root that may be compressed causing a neurological deficit.1 In addition, this technique may reduce the bending direction of the cervical spine.2 This reduction in bending may assist in fusion following supplemental fixation such as the Vertex Select Reconstruction System when used to treat DDD (neck pain of discogenic origin with degeneration of the disc confirmed by history and radiographic studies), spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, fracture, dislocation, failed previous fusion and/or tumours. These results were shown in biomechanical studies and may vary in human clinical outcomes. 

The Cornerstone system incorporates technology developed by Gary K Michelson.


Traynelis, V. (2012) Effect of Machined Interfacet Allografts on Foraminal Height and Area.  Internal Test Report. 

2Puttlitz, C. (2012). Cortical bone facet spacers for cervical spine decompression: Range of motion biomechanics and computer tomography cervical foramen area analysis. Internal Test Report