Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Timothy J. Bortree, Esq.
  • Patent number: 6805716
    Abstract: An orthopedic device set, including: a plurality of intervertebral spacer elements, each spacer element having a different axial thickness from each other element, the axial thicknesses being selected to increase by an increment from one element to another; and an instrument for holding ones of the intervertebral spacer elements, the instrument comprising a shaft having a distal end, a selectively grasping subassembly for alternatively rigidly holding each spacer element at the distal end so that the spacer element cannot move relative to the instrument, and releasing the spacer element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Spine Core, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6764515
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer having opposing plates seatable against opposing vertebral bones, separated by at least one spring mechanism, preferably a spirally slotted belleville washer having a wide end rigidly fixed to an upper plate and a narrow end rotatably mounted to a lower plate. The lower plate includes an inwardly deflecting central post extending upwardly from the inner surface of the lower plate, the post including a head that is received through a central opening in the narrow end of the washer so that the washer is restricted from angulation with respect to the lower plate, but allowed to rotate with respect to the lower plate so that the plates can rotate relative to one another. The plates can angulate relative to one another because the washer deflects under lateral deflection forces and return to its undeflected shape when the forces are relieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6758861
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by at least one force restoring element. The preferred force restoring mechanism is a wave washer. In a first embodiment the wave washer is ring-shaped. In a second embodiment the wave washer is spiral-shaped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Joseph P. Errico
  • Patent number: 6740117
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by at least one spring mechanism. A first plate of this embodiment includes a post extending upwardly from the inner surface of the plate, the post including a ball-shaped head. The post is designed to flexibly support a slotted belleville washer, which can be selectively mounted to the head such that the wider portion of the washer seats against the second plate. Compression of the assembly causes a deflection of the slotted belleville washer. The slotted belleville washer of this invention has a radially varying thickness which permits the load deflection profile to mimic that of the natural cartilage which is being replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar
  • Patent number: 6740119
    Abstract: A surgical treatment for distracting vertebral bodies to their proper anatomical spacing including sequentially inserting and removing a series of progressively wider cylindrical spacer elements into the intervertebral space between adjacent vertebral bones until the distance between the vertebral bones is anatomically appropriate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Spine Cove, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6689134
    Abstract: An orthopedic device including a longitudinal plate assembly having an adjustable length and two ends. Each of the ends includes a feature that can be used to couple the end to a body structure, such as, for example, a vertebral bone. Preferably, the assembly includes two longitudinal plates that can translate longitudinally with respect to one another through a plurality of positions and be secured with respect to one another at one of the positions, thereby enabling the length of the assembly to be adjusted. Inasmuch as the length of the plate assembly can be adjusted, the surgeon can set the length to the most clinically appropriate length for effective coupling of the plate assembly to the body structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Third Millennium Engineering, LLC
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar
  • Patent number: 6673113
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by at least one spring mechanism. The preferred spring mechanism is an arched strip spring. In a first embodiment there are multiple springs positioned independently about the area of the opposing plates. In a second embodiment there is a single arched strip spring modified to mount onto a ball-shaped head. The lower plate of this second embodiment includes a post extending upwardly from the inner surface of the plate, the post including a ball-shaped head. The spring and post members are flexibly coupled such that the upper and lower plates may rotate relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Spinecore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Joseph P. Errico
  • Patent number: 6669699
    Abstract: An intervertebral distraction tool has a clamshell head with upper and lower halves, each having a curvate outer surface and a flat inner surface. The distal side of the head is hinged so that the head opens and closes from the proximal side of the head. The hinge is a separating hinge that allows the halves to not only angulate with respect to one another about the hinge axis, but also to vertically separate from one another at the hinge. A distraction separator has decreasing taper at its distal end and a longitudinal bore that accommodates the elongate shaft of the trial so that the separator can be moved longitudinally relative to the shaft. Upon forward movement of the separator, the tapered upper and lower surfaces engage the flat inner surfaces of the head, causing the halves to angulate about the hinge axis of the head, thereby opening the head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Spinecore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Thomas N. Troxell
  • Patent number: 6669730
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by at least one spring mechanism. The preferred spring mechanism is at least one spirally slotted belleville washer having radially extending grooves. In a preferred embodiment there is a single such belleville washer which is modified to mount onto a ball-shaped head. The lower plate of this embodiment includes a post extending upwardly from the inner surface of the plate, the post including a ball-shaped head. The modified belleville washer can be rotatably mounted to the head such that the wider portion of the washer seats against the upper plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Spinecore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar
  • Patent number: 6663638
    Abstract: An instrument for inserting an implant between vertebral bodies, including a holder adapted to hold the implant during insertion of the implant between the vertebral bodies, a retractor adapted to retract the holder away from the implant after the insertion, and a guard adapted to prevent the implant from being removed from between the vertebral bodies during the retraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar
  • Patent number: 6645249
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by a spring mechanism. The preferred spring mechanism is a multi-pronged domed spring which is coupled to the upper plate by set screws. The spring includes a socket formed in the peak thereof and mounts onto a ball-shaped head extending outwardly from the lower plate. The spring and post members are thereby flexibly coupled such that the upper and lower plates may rotate relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Joseph P. Errico
  • Patent number: 6644087
    Abstract: A rod bender includes a ram shaft, having a distal end with an arcuate rod contact surface, that is movable along a shaft path that passes between two rollers, each having a curved roller surface. Each of the rollers is positionable, in an analog manner, at a variety of positions along a respective roller path, relative to a distal position of the arcuate rod contact surface. A straight rod, positioned against the rollers so that it spans the space separating the rollers and crosses the shaft path, can be rammed with the ram shaft so that the rod is bent into an arc. The rod is bent as the movement of the ram shaft pushes the arcuate rod contact surface forward against the center of the rod, while the curved roller surfaces prevent corresponding forward movement of the lateral portions of the rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2003
    Assignee: Third Millennium Engineering, LLC
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Thomas N. Troxell
  • Patent number: 6638281
    Abstract: A gravity dependent pedicle screw tap hole guide comprises a guide shaft maintainable parallel to a drill bit during the drilling of a pedicle screw tap hole; a level indicator associated with a reference direction and responsive to gravity to provide feedback regarding an angular difference between an acting direction of gravity and the reference direction; and a mounting attaching the indicator to the shaft and establishing a positional relationship between the reference direction and the longitudinal axis. Using the guide involves angulating the shaft about its distal end adjacent the base of the superior articular process and the base and middle of the transverse process until the guide indicates that the angular orientation of the longitudinal axis matches the previously determined pedicle axis orientation with respect to the acting direction of gravity, and then drilling the tap hole along a trajectory established by the longitudinal axis of the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventor: Josef E. Gorek
  • Patent number: 6623525
    Abstract: An intervertebral space distraction and implantable device assembly provides sequentially axially wider spacers that are to be sequentially inserted into and removed from an intervertebral space to widen the space until a desired anatomical spacing of the adjacent vertebral bones is restored. The set of spacers includes a porous spacer that is as wide as the spacer that restores the desired anatomical spacing. The porous spacer can therefore be left implanted in the intervertebral space to promote fusion of the adjacent vertebral bones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6610092
    Abstract: An intervertebral spacer device having a pair of opposing plates for seating against opposing vertebral bone surfaces, separated by a spring mechanism. The preferred spring mechanism is a slotted partial circular domed arch strip spring which is coupled to the upper plate by set screws. The spring includes a socket formed in the peak thereof and mounts onto a ball-shaped head extending outwardly from the lower plate. The spring and post members are thereby flexibly coupled such that the upper and lower plates may rotate relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Assignee: SpineFore, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen Tatar, Joseph P. Errico
  • Patent number: 6607559
    Abstract: An intervertebral space distraction assembly including: a plurality of sequentially axially wider disc spacer elements, the sequential insertion and removal of which, into an intervertebral space effects a widening of the intervertebral space, such that a desired anatomical spacing of adjacent vertebral bones may be restored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: Spine Care, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Steven Tatar, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6609030
    Abstract: A method for treating psychiatric diseases such as Affective Disorder (including Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder), Anxiety Disorder (including General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Panic Disorder) by stimulation (either electrical and/or chemical) of the thalamus, and in particular a region within the dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: ElectroCore Techniques, LLC
    Inventors: Ali R. Rezai, Brian H. Kopell
  • Patent number: 6562047
    Abstract: An orthopedic device set, including: a plurality of intervertebral spacers elements, each spacer element having a cylindrical shape and an annular groove formed therein, each spacer element further having a different axial thickness from each other spacer; and an instrument for holding each of the intervertebral spacer elements during the insertion and removal thereof into and out from between adjacent vertebral bones; the instrument comprising a shaft having a distal end, a spacer element holding structure formed at the distal end, which spacer element holding structure can hold the spacer at the annular groove thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Spine Core, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Steven Tatar, Thomas J. Errico
  • Patent number: 6558387
    Abstract: A porous metal intervertebral spacer having at least one angled through hole extending from the side of the implant to a surface which interfaces with a vertebral body end plate such that an interference screw may be driven through the implant and into the bone, thereby securing the implant from undesired motion. In particular, the through holes are tapered to receive a screw and coupling element therethrough such that once fully seated, the screw is locked to the implant by virtue of a coupling element-through hole mutually tapered nesting. The head of the screw is round, as is the interior of the coupling element, thereby allowing the screw to be inserted at various angles relative to the hole without interfering with the proper seating of the coupling element in the through hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Fastemetix, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas J. Errico, James D. Ralph, Joseph P. Errico
  • Patent number: 6554864
    Abstract: A surgical treatment for restoring proper anatomical spacing and alignment to vertebral bones including: determining an angular misalignment associated with adjacent vertebral bones; sequentially inserting and removing a series of progressively wider cylindrical spacer elements into the corresponding intervertebral space between the adjacent vertebral bones until the proper anatomical spacing between the adjacent vertebral bones is restored; for each intervertebral space, inserting a diametrically tapered cylindrical porous spacer element into the intervertebral space between the corresponding adjacent vertebral bones; rotating the diametrically tapered cylindrical porous spacer element such that the rotational orientation of the tapered cylindrical porous spacer element introduces the appropriate counter offset to the intervertebral space of the previously misaligned scoliotic vertebral bones, thereby restoring the proper anatomical alignment of the vertebral bones; and stabilizing the adjacent vertebral bon
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc
    Inventors: James D. Ralph, Steven Tatar, Thomas J. Errico