Patents by Inventor R. Thomas Grotz

R. Thomas Grotz 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).

  • Publication number: 20090216331
    Abstract: A spinal implant which is configured to be deployed between adjacent vertebral bodies. The implant has at least one fixation element with a retracted configuration to facilitate deployment of the implant and an extended configuration so as to engage a surface of an adjacent vertebral body and secure the implant between two vertebral bodies. Preferably, the implant is expandable and has a minimal dimension in its unexpanded state that is smaller than the dimensions of the neuroforamen through which it must pass to be deployed within the intervertebral space. Once within the space between vertebral bodies, the implant can be expanded so as to engage the endplates of the adjacent vertebrae to effectively distract the anterior disc space, stabilize the motion segments and eliminate pathologic spine motion. Angular deformities can be corrected, and natural curvatures restored and maintained.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2008
    Publication date: August 27, 2009
    Inventors: R. Thomas Grotz, Rudy A. Pretti
  • Publication number: 20080188941
    Abstract: A linearly expanding spine cage has a minimized diameter in its unexpanded state that is equal to the diameter of an insertion groove cut into adjacent vertebral bodies. The cage conformably engages between the endplates of adjacent vertebrae to effectively distract the disc space, widen neuroforamina, stabilize the motion segments and eliminate pathologic spine motion. Angular deformities can be corrected, and natural curvatures maintained. The cage enhances spinal arthrodesis by creating a rigid spine segment. Expanding linearly (vertically, along the vertical axis of the adjacent spine) rather than uniformly, the cage height increases and holds the vertebrae with fixation forces greater than adjacent bone and soft tissue failure forces. Stability is thus achieved immediately, enabling patient function by eliminating painful motion. The cage width remains stable, so as to decrease impingement upon a second cage, or upon soft tissue structures in the immediate vicinity, including neural or vascular elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: August 7, 2008
    Inventor: R. Thomas Grotz
  • Publication number: 20080161933
    Abstract: A selectively expanding spine cage has a minimized diameter in its unexpanded state that is smaller that the diameter of the neuroforamen through which it passes in the distracted spine. The cage conformably engages between the endplates of vertebrae to effectively distract the anterior disc space, stabilize the motion segments, eliminate pathologic spine motion, or effect vertebral body replacement. Angular deformities can be corrected, and natural curvatures restored and maintained. The cage enhances spinal arthrodesis by creating a rigid spine segment, or if filled with compressible substances, the cage can be used for motion preservation between vertebral bodies. Expanding selectively (anteriorly, along the vertical axis of the spine) rather than uniformly, the cage height increases and holds the vertebrae with fixation forces greater than adjacent bone and soft tissue failure forces in natural lordosis. Stability is thus achieved immediately, enabling patient function by eliminating painful motion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: July 3, 2008
    Inventors: R. Thomas Grotz, Rudy Pretti
  • Patent number: 6017346
    Abstract: A wedge for insertion to a rectilinear slot in bone fastens tissue for continuous refastening of separated tissue from bone. When viewed in plan toward the proximal truncated top, the wedge is sinusoidal in shape defining a series of prominences and depressions relative to the elongate slot. At the proximal end, suture fastening apertures--preferably elongate parallel to the proximal end--are placed for looping tissue fastening sutures prior to wedge insertion. A plurality of barbs--preferably placed at the prominences--together with the compression of the wedge within a rectilinear slot cause anchoring to bone upon wedge insertion to the rectilinear slot prepared within the bone. Skewering tips at the end of the wedge enable skewered tissue to be entrained with the wedge into the bone upon insertion of the bone within a previously prepared rectilinear slot. The wedge is mounted to an inserting probe and any optional sutures organized along the length of the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: Ultraortho, Inc.
    Inventor: R. Thomas Grotz
  • Patent number: 5968078
    Abstract: This invention pertains to a medical device for securing bodily tissues to bone, and more particularly to a triangular shaped joint stabilizer comprising sharpened, toothed bone anchors that are forcibly spread into the bone by a central plug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Ultraortho, Inc.
    Inventor: R. Thomas Grotz