DePuy Spine announced, on 21 November 2011, the European launch of the ViperCortical Fix fenestrated screw system, a pedicle screw that offers enhanced spinal fixation in both the pedicle and vertebral body for patients with diminished bone quality and a spinal disorder requiring surgery.
Pedicle screws are used to hold vertebrae in place to facilitate spinal fusion. However, in patients with poor bone quality, fixation with standard screws can be problematic. The cortical thread in the Viper screw system is designed to increase resistance to pull-out forces by doubling the number of screw-to-bone contact points. In addition, surgeons can decide intra-operatively to inject spinal cement directly into the vertebral body through the fenestrations in the screw for even greater fixation.
“This new screw, designed with older patients in mind, offers two mechanical improvements. First, it increases the number of contact points in the pedicle and second, it allows the use of cement in the vertebral body through its fenestrations,” said Fernández-Baíllo, Hospital Universitario La Paz and Hospital Universitario Madrid Sanchinarro, Madrid, Spain.
“The Viper Cortical Fix fenestrated screw system fills a growing clinical need as the elderly population rises and the incidence of osteoporosis and spinal disorders increases throughout the world,” said Aldo Denti, vice president, DePuy EMEA. “This new option helps us address the anatomic issues and spinal pathologies facing this specific patient population.”
According to the US Census Bureau’s International Data Base, the world’s 65 and older population is projected to triple by 2050, from 516 million to 1.53 billion people. In Europe, nearly 30% of its total population is projected to be 65-and-older.With this rise in population, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Worldwide predicts the overall prevalence of osteoporosis and related fractures will increase substantially.