Patents by Inventor Bret A. Ferree

Bret A. Ferree has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10695108
    Abstract: Neurophysiological instruments and techniques are improved through various enhancements. Stimulation of an instrument is possible while it is advancing into the spine or elsewhere, alerting the surgeon to the first sign the instrument or device (screw) may be too near a nerve. A directional probe helps surgeons determine the location of the hole in the pedicle. Electrically insulating sleeves prevent shunting into the soft tissues. According to a different improvement, the same probe to be used to stimulate different devices, such as screws and wires. Electrical impulses may be recorded from non-muscle regions of the body, including the spine and other portions of the central nervous system as opposed to just the extremities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: NuVasive, Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Publication number: 20190307575
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2019
    Publication date: October 10, 2019
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Publication number: 20190274839
    Abstract: Spacerless artificial disc replacements (ADR) are disclosed. One preferred embodiment includes two saddle-shaped components to facilitate more normal spinal flexion, extension, and lateral bending while limit axial rotation, thereby protecting the facet joints and the annulus fibrosus (AF). Either or both of the superior and inferior components are made of a hard material such as chrome cobalt, titanium, or a ceramic including alumina, zirconia, or calcium phosphate. The articulating surfaces of the ADR are also preferably highly polished to reduce friction between the components. Metals, alloys or other materials with shape-memory characteristics may also prove beneficial.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2019
    Publication date: September 12, 2019
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 10327907
    Abstract: Methods for treating an annulus fibrosis having a defect include inserting a flexible device into the defect. The flexible device is advanced distally beyond an outer layer of the annulus fibrosus. The flexible device is then expanded such that a width of the flexible device is larger than the defect, where the flexible device prevents escape of nucleus pulposus through the defect. The flexible device may have at least two appendages made from a shape-memory metal. Alternatively, the flexible device may have a U-shaped structure that includes a central portion and two legs. The flexible device may also be anchored to the annulus fibrosis and/or the vertebrae.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Suture Concepts Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Patent number: 10299933
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 10271956
    Abstract: Spacerless artificial disc replacements (ADR) are disclosed. One preferred embodiment includes two saddle-shaped components to facilitate more normal spinal flexion, extension, and lateral bending while limit axial rotation, thereby protecting the facet joints and the annulus fibrosus (AF). Either or both of the superior and inferior components are made of a hard material such as chrome cobalt, titanium, or a ceramic including alumina, zirconia, or calcium phosphate. The articulating surfaces of the ADR are also preferably highly polished to reduce friction between the components. Metals, alloys or other materials with shape-memory characteristics may also prove beneficial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 10245018
    Abstract: A method for closing a fissure in a region of tissue having an inner surface and an outer surface, the method comprising: providing at least a pair of transverse anchor components, each transverse anchor component being coupled to at least one flexible longitudinal fixation component having a longitudinal axis; placing the transverse anchor components relative to the inner surface of the tissue on both sides of the fissure such that an exposed end of a flexible longitudinal fixation component extends through the tissue and past the outer surface of the tissue on both sides of the fissure; applying axial tension to the exposed ends; and anchoring the exposed ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Suture Concepts Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Publication number: 20190021724
    Abstract: Apparatus for attaching a first object to a second object, said apparatus comprising: a distal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, wherein said distal end comprises an inclined distal end surface, and a vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said generally cylindrical body; a proximal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, a top surface and a bottom surface, a first vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body from said top surface to said bottom surface, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the generally cylindrical body, a second vertical bore spaced distally from said first vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said first vertical bore, a third vertical bore spaced distally from said second vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said first
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2018
    Publication date: January 24, 2019
    Inventors: Peter Sorensen, Daniel Morgan, Bret A. Ferree, Christopher Runnells
  • Publication number: 20180116820
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2017
    Publication date: May 3, 2018
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 9949734
    Abstract: Apparatus for attaching a first object to a second object, said apparatus comprising: a distal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, wherein said distal end comprises an inclined distal end surface, and a vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said generally cylindrical body; a proximal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, a top surface and a bottom surface, a first vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body from said top surface to said bottom surface, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the generally cylindrical body, a second vertical bore spaced distally from said first vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said first vertical bore, a third vertical bore spaced distally from said second vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said fi
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Suture Concepts Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Sorensen, Daniel Morgan, Bret A. Ferree, Christopher Runnells
  • Publication number: 20180028198
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for treating disc herniation provide a conformable device which assumes a first shape associated with insertion and a second shape or expanded shape to occlude the defect which typically follows partial discectomy. The device may take different forms according to the invention, including patches size to cover the defect or plugs adapted to fill the defect. In a preferred embodiment, however, the device is a gel or other liquid or semi-liquid which solidifies to occlude the defect from within the body of the disc itself. In another preferred embodiment, a mesh screen is collapsed into an elongated form for the purposes of insertion, thereby minimizing the size of the requisite incision while avoiding delicate surrounding nerves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2017
    Publication date: February 1, 2018
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Patent number: 9877841
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 9801668
    Abstract: Neurophysiological instruments and techniques are improved through various enhancements. Stimulation of an instrument is possible while it is advancing into the spine or elsewhere, alerting the surgeon to the first sign the instrument or device (screw) may be too near a nerve. A directional probe helps surgeons determine the location of the hole in the pedicle. Electrically insulating sleeves prevent shunting into the soft tissues. According to a different improvement, the same probe to be used to stimulate different devices, such as screws and wires. Electrical impulses may be recorded from non-muscle regions of the body, including the spine and other portions of the central nervous system as opposed to just the extremities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: NuVasive, Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Patent number: 9737343
    Abstract: Devices and methods for fixing defects in the anulus fibrosus (vertebral disc) of a patient are described. The devices include a mesh patch, and first and second suture assemblies, each of which include an anchor and a suture. The anchor has a first portion adapted to be inserted into a bone and a second portion having an opening therethrough. The suture is adapted to be disposed through the opening and has a first end is adapted to couple to the mesh patch. The method of treatment includes inserting the first portion of the first anchor into a cranial vertebra and inserting the second portion of the second anchor into a caudal vertebra. The first ends of the sutures are attached to the mesh patch. The mesh patch is positioned adjacent the defect by pulling on, or applying tension to, the second ends of the sutures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Suture Concepts Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Patent number: 9737337
    Abstract: One or more sutures can be used in spinal applications to hold an intradiscal device in place between two vertebrae or repair a defect in the soft tissue of the spine, such as the annulus fibrosis or the dura. Tension can also be applied to the sutures to stabilize a spinal segment having an intradiscal device to prevent or minimize excessive spinal extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation of the spinal segment. Anchors are placed in two adjacent vertebrae and sutures are passed through each anchor. The sutures can be passed through portions of the intradiscal device. Alternatively, the sutures can be passed through a mesh patch which is held against the vertebrae to hold the intradiscal device in place. Tension is applied to the first and second ends of the sutures and the sutures are welded together. The sutures can be welded in a cross-braced arrangement minimize or prevent extension, lateral bending, and rotation of the spinal segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Suture Concepts Inc.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Publication number: 20170209138
    Abstract: A filament laterally spans a tear, fissure or other defect in an annulus. One portion of the filament is anchored to the annulus by passing at least one first anchor through the annulus and into the nucleus on one side of the fissure, and with a second portion of the filament being anchored to the annulus by passing at least one second anchor through the annulus and into the nucleus on a second side of the fissure, with the at least one first and second anchors being drawn back through the nucleus and against the inner surface of the posterior annulus by the application of a significant (e.g., about 15N to 25N) axial tension applied perpendicular to the posterior wall of the annulus, and with the fissure being drawn closed by the subsequent application of a significant axial tension applied perpendicular to the posterior wall of the annulus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2016
    Publication date: July 27, 2017
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Publication number: 20170135690
    Abstract: Apparatus for attaching a first object to a second object, said apparatus comprising: a distal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, wherein said distal end comprises an inclined distal end surface, and a vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said generally cylindrical body; a proximal anchor comprising a generally cylindrical body, a distal end and a proximal end, a top surface and a bottom surface, a first vertical bore extending through said generally cylindrical body from said top surface to said bottom surface, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the generally cylindrical body, a second vertical bore spaced distally from said first vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said first vertical bore, a third vertical bore spaced distally from said second vertical bore and extending from said top surface to said bottom surface parallel to said fi
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2014
    Publication date: May 18, 2017
    Inventors: Peter Sorensen, Daniel Morgan, Bret A. Ferree, Christopher Runnells
  • Publication number: 20170119545
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2017
    Publication date: May 4, 2017
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins
  • Patent number: 9592062
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for treating disc herniation provide a conformable device which assumes a first shape associated with insertion and a second shape or expanded shape to occlude the defect which typically follows partial discectomy. The device may take different forms according to the invention, including patches size to cover the defect or plugs adapted to fill the defect. In a preferred embodiment, however, the device is a gel or other liquid or semi-liquid which solidifies to occlude the defect from within the body of the disc itself. In another preferred embodiment, a mesh screen is collapsed into an elongated form for the purposes of insertion, thereby minimizing the size of the requisite incision while avoiding delicate surrounding nerves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Anova Corp.
    Inventor: Bret A. Ferree
  • Patent number: 9572679
    Abstract: This invention improves upon prior art total disc replacements (TDRs) by more closely replicating the kinematics of a natural disc. The preferred embodiments feature two or more fixed centers of rotation (CORs) and an optional variable COR (VCOR) as the artificial disk replacement (ADR) translates from a fixed posterior COR that lies posterior to the COR of the TDR to facilitate normal disc motion. The use of two or more CORs allows more flexion and more extension than permitted by the facet joints and the artificial facet (AF). AF joint-like components may also be incorporated into the design to restrict excessive translation, rotation, and/or lateral bending.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: SpineCore, Inc.
    Inventors: Bret A. Ferree, David Tompkins