Human spinal disc prothesis with hinges
The invention relates to a spinal disc endoprosthesis. The endoprosthesis has a resilient body formed of one or more materials which may vary in stiffness from a relatively stiff exterior annular gasket portion to a relatively supple central nucleus portion. Concaval-convex elements at least partly surround that nucleus portion so as to retain the nucleus portion and gasket between adjacent vertebral bodies in a patient's spine. Assemblies of endoprosthetic discs, endoprosthetic vertebral bodies, and endoprosthetic longitudinal ligaments may be constructed. To implant this endoprosthesis assembly, information is obtained regarding the size, shape, and nature of a patient's damaged spine. Thereafter, one or more prosthetic vertebral bodies and disc units are constructed in conformity with that information. Finally, the completed and conformed vertebral body and disc assembly is implanted in the patient's spine.
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This is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/681,230, filed Jul. 22, 1996, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,674,296 and which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/339,490, filed Nov. 14, 1994, which is abandoned.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates generally to human prostheses, and especially to spinal column vertebral intervertebral disc prostheses. The invention also relates to surgical procedures for preparing the patient to receive a vertebral an intervertebral disc endoprosthesis, and for implanting that endoprosthesis in the patient's spine.
The herniation of a spinal disc and the often resultant symptoms of intractable pain, weakness, sensory loss, incontinence and progressive arthritis are among the most common of debilitating processes affecting mankind. If a patient's condition does not improve after conservative treatment, and if clear physical evidence of nerve root or spinal cord compression is apparent, and if correlating radiographic studies (i.e., MRI or CT imaging or myelography) confirm the condition, surgical removal of the herniated disc may be indicated. The process of discectomy—as the name implies—involves the simple removal of the disc without attempt to replace or repair the malfunctioning unit. In the United States in 1985, over 250,000 such operations were performed in the lumbar spine and in the cervical spine.
Statistics suggest that present surgical techniques are likely to result in short-term relief, but will not prevent the progressive deterioration of the patient's condition in the long run. Through better pre-operative procedures and diagnostic studies, long-term patient results have improved somewhat. But it has become clear that unless the removed disc is replaced or the spine is otherwise properly supported, further degeneration of the patient's condition will almost certainly occur.
In the mid-1950's and 60's, Cloward and Smith & Robinson popularized anterior surgical approaches to the cervical spine for the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease and related disorders of the vertebrae, spinal cord and nerve root; these surgeries involved disc removal followed by interbody fusion with a bone graft. It was noted by Robinson (Robinson, R. A.: The Results of Anterior Interbody Fusion of the Cervical Spine, J. Bone Joint Surg., 440A: 1569-1586, 1962) that after surgical fusion, osteophyte (bone spur) reabsorption at the fused segment might take place. However, it has become increasingly apparent that unfused vertebral segments at the levels above and below the fused segment degenerate at accelerated rates as a direct result of this fusion. This has led some surgeons to perform discectomy alone, without fusion, by a posterior approach in the neck of some patients. However, as has occurred in surgeries involving the lower back where discectomy without fusion is more common as the initial treatment for disc herniation syndromes, progressive degeneration at the level of disc excision is the rule rather than the exception. Premature degenerative disc disease at the level above and below the excised disc can and does occur.
Spine surgery occasionally involves fusion of the spine segments. In addition to the problems created by disc herniation, traumatic, malignant, infectious and degenerative syndromes of the spine can be treated by fusion. Other procedures can include bone grafts and heavy duty metallic rods, hooks, plates and screws being appended to the patient's anatomy; often they are rigidly and internally fixed. None provide for a patient's return to near-normal functioning. Though these procedures may solve a short-term problem, they can cause other, longer term, problems.
A number of attempts have been made to solve some of the problems described above by providing a patient with spinal disc prostheses, or artificial discs of one sort or another. For example, Steffee, U.S. Pat. No. 5,031,437, describes a spinal disc prosthesis having upper and lower rigid flat plates and a flat elastomeric core sandwiched between the plates. Frey et al., U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,917,704 and 4,955,908, disclose intervertebral prostheses, but the prostheses are described as solid bodies.
U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,911,718 and 5,171,281 disclose resilient disc spacers, but no inter-connective or containing planes or like elements are suggested, and sealing the entire unit is not taught.
It is the primary aim of the present invention to provide a vertebral an intervertebral disc endoprosthesis which will perform effectively and efficiently within a patient's spine over a long period of time, and which will not encourage degeneration of or cause damage to adjacent natural disc parts.
It is a related objective to provide a new vertebral intervertebral disc endoprosthesis surgical procedure which will decrease post-operative recovery time and inhibit post-operative disc, vertebral body and spinal joint degeneration.
It is yet another object to provide a method of installing the endoprosthesis so as to accurately mate the endoprosthesis with an adjacent specifically formed bone surface. An associated object is to provide an endoprosthesis which will encourage bone attachment to, and growth upon, adjacent outer surfaces of the endoprosthesis.
Yet another object is to provide a vertebral endoprosthesis in which the parts are non-oncogenic.
Still another object is to provide a vertebral an intervertebral disc endoprosthesis having a resilient element to accommodate shocks and other forces applied to the spine.
Another object is to provide a highly effective vertebral endoprosthesis which includes several disc endoprostheses and one or more prosthetic vertebral bodies. A related object is to provide these elements in a pre-assembled array for implantation in a patient.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
To accomplish these objects, the invention comprises a resilient body formed of a material varying in stiffness from a relatively stiff exterior portion to a relatively supple central portion. A concaval-convex means at least partly surrounds that resilient body so as to retain the resilient body between adjacent vertebral bodies of a patient's spine. If medical considerations so indicate, several disc endoprostheses can be combined with one or more endoprosthetic vertebral bodies in an entire assembly.
To implant this endoprosthesis assembly, information is obtained regarding the size, shape, and nature of a patient's damaged natural spinal discs. If one or more of the patient's vertebral bodies also require replacement, information about those bodies is also obtained. Thereafter, one or more prosthetic disc units and interposed prosthetic vertebral body units are constructed and preassembled in conformity with that information. Finally, the completed and conformed prosthetic disc and vertebral body assembly is implanted in the patient's spine.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings. Throughout the drawings, like reference numerals refer to like parts.
While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment and procedure, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to this embodiment or procedure. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning more specifically to
Concaval-convex means 30 surround the resilient body 20 to retain the resilient body 20 between the adjacent natural vertebral bodies 12, 14 in a patient's spine 10. To this end, as shown in
To discourage and prohibit migration of fluids between the endoprosthesis 18 and adjacent parts of the anatomy, a seal member 110 is attached to the supports 32, 34 so as to surround the resilient body 20 which is comprised of the gasket 22 and nucleus 24, in accordance with another aspect of the invention. Here, this seal member 110 comprises a flexible sheet material having a multiplicity of pores. Preferably, the pores are from about 5 microns to about 60 microns in size. A flexible, strong polymer sheet material from which this seal is formed can be a Kevlar-like material, or it can be Goretex-like material, expanded PTFE, or other appropriate biocompatible material, such as polyether, polyurethane, or polycarbonate urethane membranes, can be used. Kevlar material is offered by the E. I. DuPont de Nemours Company of Wilmington, Del. and Goretex material is offered by the W. T. Gore Company of Flagstaff and Phoenix, Ariz. The seal material may be lined on its interior surface, its exterior surface, or both surfaces with silicone or any suitable sealing material so as to render the flexible sheet material substantially impervious to the passage of any fluid. A watertight seal is perfected when the seal 110 is glued or otherwise affixed to the legs 42, 44 and mediate portions of the legs 72, 74 as suggested in
In the space beneath the seal member 110 and between the disc body 20 and the concave surfaces of legs 42, 44, a lubricant may be used. The lubricant used may be saline or an appropriate liquid or particulate material lubricant.
In an alternative embodiment, the watertight seal between the endoprosthesis 18 and adjacent parts of the anatomy can be provided by developing a groove 402 completely encircling the periphery of each of the legs 42, 44. In this embodiment, the legs 72, 74 may be attached to the circumferential groove member 402 by laser-welding or other suitable means. If the legs 72, 74 are of polymeric material, they may be attached by mechanical or adhesive techniques. Only one of the grooves is shown in
In use, the seal member 410 is placed about the concaval-convex means 30. The retaining bands 415 are then placed adjacent to the respective groove 402 and crimped anteriorly, thereby fitting the bands into the grooves. Each beaded edge 412 prevents the slipping of the seal member underneath the retaining band. Thus, the retaining band, the groove and the beaded edge all cooperate to provide a water-tight seal to prevent the migration of fluids between the endoprosthesis 18 and adjacent parts of the anatomy. Glue can also be used to affix the seal member to the concaval-convex means 30 as a supplemental means for perfecting the seal.
In a first embodiment, the first legs 42, 44 are formed as an integral piece with the respective second wings or legs 72, 74. In the alternate embodiment of
These hinges 43, 73 may take any of the several known forms. Each hinge can be a rod and socket hinge, a pin type hinge, or a slip joint fitting, or it can be a web or a membrane type hinge of metal or plastic.
The second wings or legs 72, 74 may be made of a suitable metal such as titanium or a polymeric material. Alternately, each leg 72, 74 including its associated hinge element, can be made of a biodegradable polymeric material. When the legs 72, 74 are made of biodegradable material, the screws 92, 94 used for affixing the legs to the adjacent bone structure may be of the standard shoulder screw type in order to maintain firm fixation to the screw anchors 102, 104 after biodegradation of the legs 72, 74.
Legs 72, 74 can be of a thin construction that allows some degree of flexibility so as to promote a better mating of the legs to the anterior aspect of the vertebral body 12, 14.
The legs can have a central closed oblong slot to accommodate a screw or other fixation device. Should a second endoprosthesis device be placed at an adjoining level, the leg 72, 74 would be placed on top of the corresponding leg from the adjacent device. The screw 92, 94 or other fixation device would then pass through the closed oblong slot of the overlapping legs 72, 74.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the supports 32, 34 are formed of a biocompatible metal which may contain chromium cobalt or titanium. Surface roughening or titanium beading 112, 114 on the exterior surfaces 52, 54 of legs 42, 44 encourages positive bonding between the adjacent bone and the convex surfaces 52, 54. Over time, bone fuses or grows into the surface roughening, thereby adhering to the legs 42, 44 in a rigid and strong manner.
As suggested in
When a ligament is used in the embodiment of the device having hinged legs 92, 94, the prosthetic longitudinal ligament structure can comprise several parallel bands of material separated by approximately 10 mm.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, multiple endoprosthetic disc units can be placed in series with a straddling interlock appendage providing stability and fixation as shown in
An ear 340 is affixed, as by weldments 341, to a leg 342 extending from a concaval-convex element 322 as illustrated in
In an alternate embodiment, ear 340 could be replaced with a biodegradable washer around each of the screws 92, 94 at a point located between the strap 250 and the respective leg 72, 74. (
The upper disc endoprosthesis 308, the endoprosthetic vertebral body 320, and the lower disc endoprosthesis 318 can all be assembled and interconnected as a unit before implantation in a patient's body when indicated.
As also suggested in
According to yet another aspect of the invention, novel surgical procedures permit effective and permanent installation of the endoprosthetic vertebral body 320 and associated parts. First, a surgeon or medical technician develops information about the size, shape and nature of a patient's damaged vertebral body or bodies from radiographs, CT and/or MRI scans, noting specifically the anterior-posterior and lateral dimensions of the end plate of each involved vertebral body and the vertical height of the anterior aspect of each involved vertebral and/or proximate vertebral body and vertical height of the mid portion of involved and proximate relatively normal intervertebral disc spaces. This information is transmitted by telephone, computer datalink or documentary transport to a specialized laboratory. That laboratory constructs one or more prosthetic assemblies of the sort shown in
When the unit or units have been received and the patient properly prepared, the damaged natural spinal disc or discs and vertebral body or bodies are removed and the adjacent spinal bone surfaces are milled or otherwise formed to provide concave surfaces to receive the confronting convex surfaces 52, 54. Thereafter, the disc units and vertebral body are installed in the patient's spine.
To accurately locate the concaval-convex surfaces in the patient's spine, holes 382A, 384A (
If necessary, a damaged implanted nucleus and/or gasket 24 can be removed and replaced. This can be accomplished by slitting the seal 110; removing the annular gasket 24 and damaged nucleus 22, and replacing them with new, undamaged elements. Thereafter, the seal 110 can be re-established by suturing or gluing closed the slit seal.
1. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis, comprising a resilient body formed of materials varying in stiffness from a relatively stiff exterior portion to a relatively supple central portion; and concaval-convex elements at least partly surrounding the resilient body for retaining said resilient body in a position between the concaval-convex elements, and wherein said concaval-convex elements each comprise generally L-shaped supports, each support having a first concaval-convex leg, the first leg having an outer convex surface for engaging adjacent bone and a corresponding inner concave surface for retaining the resilient body, each support further having a second leg extending generally perpendicularly to the first leg and adapted for affixation to adjacent bone structures.
2. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 1 wherein said resilient body comprises an annular gasket and a nuclear central portion.
3. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 2 wherein the gasket extends about the nuclear central portion to enclose it within a thin layer.
4. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 3 wherein the gasket, and the nuclear central portion, and the thin layer are molded together as one piece.
5. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 1 further comprising cannulated screw means for attaching the concaval-convex element supports to adjacent bone structure.
6. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 5 wherein said cannulated screw means comprises a screw, and a screw anchor seatable within bone structure and adapted to threadably receive the screw.
7. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 6 wherein the screws terminate in the anchor.
8. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 6 wherein the anchor has an open end and the screw proceeds through the open end of the anchor and terminates in the bone of the vertebral body.
9. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 1 further comprising a seal member attached to the concaval-convex elements and surrounding said resilient body.
10. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 9 wherein said seal member comprises a flexible sheet material having a multiplicity of pores, the pores being from about 5 microns to about 60 microns in size.
11. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 10 further including sealing means applied to said flexible sheet material to render said flexible sheet material substantially impervious to the passage of any fluid.
12. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 11 wherein the sealing means is silicone.
13. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 9 wherein said concaval-convex elements and said seal member collectively surround said resilient body with a watertight seal.
14. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 2 wherein said annular gasket is relatively stiff and said nuclear central portion is relatively supple.
15. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the second legs is hingedly attached to the respective first concaval-convex leg.
16. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis, comprising a resilient body formed of materials varying in stiffness from a relatively stiff exterior portion to a relatively supple central portion; and concaval-convex elements at least partly surrounding the resilient body between adjacent vertebral bodies for retaining the resilient body between adjacent vertebral bodies in a patient's spine, and wherein said concaval-convex elements each comprise generally L-shaped supports, each support having a first concaval-convex leg, the first leg having an outer convex surface for engaging adjacent bone and a corresponding inner concave surface for retaining the resilient body, each support further having a second leg extending generally perpendicularly to the first leg and adapted for affixation to adjacent bone structure, wherein at least the second leg is constructed of titanium.
17. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis comprising a resilient nucleus, first and second rigid concaval-convex elements at least partly surrounding the nucleus, first and second legs formed, respectively, with the first and second rigid concaval-convex elements, first and second means for affixing the respective legs to vertebral bodies adjacent the concaval-convex elements and nucleus, longitudinal ligament prosthesis means extending between the legs of the first and second concaval-convex elements to inhibit undesirable motion of the vertebral bodies relative to one another, and biodegradable washers positioned between the ligament prosthesis means and the respective legs.
18. A vertebral An intervertebral disc endoprosthesis comprising a rounded, resilient nucleus body convex on all surfaces and concaval-convex elements, each concaval-convex element being of relatively constant cross-sectional thickness and having an outer convex surface for engaging adjacent bone structure which has been milled to mate with the concaval-convex element outer convex surface, and a corresponding inner concave surface for engaging the rounded resilient body, wherein lubricant is provided between the nucleus body and the concaval-convex elements.
19. A vertebral An intervertebral endoprosthesis comprising an integral disc unit, said unit including a pair of confronting L-shaped supports having concaval-convex shapes in given legs, a resilient body interposed between the supports, and a flexible seal extending from one support to the other and sealing the resilient body within the supports inside a substantially watertight compartment, further comprising a plurality of said integral disc units.
20. The vertebral intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 19 wherein each support includes a groove about its circumference.
21. The intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 13, wherein the seal member comprises a flexible sheet secured to each of the concaval-convex elements.
22. The intervertebral disc endoprosthesis according to claim 19, further comprising a plurality of said integral disc units.
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International Classification: A61F 2/44 (20060101);