SpineFrontier welcomes Dr. Ashley Simela orthopedic surgeon

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Ashley Simela

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ashley Simela to the exclusive community of spine surgeons committed to the Less Exposure Surgery movement with SpineFrontier!

Specializing in Orthopedic Spine Surgery in the Bronx, New York, Dr Simela is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a nationally ranked facility.  Dr Simela received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for seven years. He is one of nine doctors at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and one of 85 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who specializes in Orthopedic Surgery.

After receiving his medical degree in 2008, Dr. Simela was an Orthopedic Surgery Resident at University Hospitals of Cleveland Richmond and went on to complete an Orthopedic Spine Surgery Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Simela’s clinical interests include spinal fusion, spondylolisthesis, cervical and lumbar vertebrae, and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation.  As a highly-skilled surgeon Dr. Simela is dedicated to delivering the absolute highest standards of healthcare and performance to his patients.

Dr. Simela is a key figure in the development and expansion of the LESS Institute brand and in the innovation of LES technologies.  He will play a chief role in the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art LESS Institute facility in New York City in the coming year.

SpineFrontier welcomes Dr. Fernando Techy

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Fernando Techy

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Dr. Fernando Techy to the premier community of spine surgeons committed to SpineFrontier and the Less Exposure Surgery group!

Dr. Techy’s specialized training includes two complete orthopaedic surgery residencies -one at the Santa Casa of Sao Paulo, Brazil and one at the University of Illinois in Chicago, as well as a combined Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery Spine Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, OH. After his extensive training Dr. Techy was invited back to work as an attending Professor of Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago where he performed complex and demanding spine surgeries in the academic setting.

Dr. Techy is passionate about teaching and performing research to help the advancement of spine surgery.  He is the author of several articles published in peer-reviewed journals as well as multiple book chapters on spine surgery. Dr. Techy is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), of the North American Spine Society (NASS), of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), and of the AOSpine North America.

Dr. Techy enjoys teaching and training Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery residents, fellows and Spine Surgery colleagues from the US and abroad. Currently, Dr. Techy is on the faculty of the AOSpine North America, the Depuy Synthes Spine Surgery Institute and the Cleveland Clinic Spine Review.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Techy enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, playing guitar, riding his road or mountain bike, snowboarding, running (six marathons so far) and playing tennis.

Dr. Techy is a key player in the advancement of LES technologies in Colorado and in the overall growth and progress of the LESS Institute brand on a global scale.

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia

SpineFrontier Welcomes Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia

It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Juan Martin Valdivia-Valdivia to the elite community of spine surgeons dedicated to the Less Exposure Surgery Philosophy! Dr. Juan M. Valdivia-Valdivia is board certified in Neurological Surgery. He received his Doctor of Medicine at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. He then finished his General Surgery Internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and a Neurological Surgery Residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson, with rotations at Barrow Neurological Institute and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia went on to complete a Complex & Reconstructive Spine Surgery Fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he became a faculty member as Assistant Professor. He rounded out his training with a Neurosurgical Oncology Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  He comes to BayCare Medical Group in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from his role as Neurosurgery Section Chief, Section of Neurosurgery, at the Veteran’s Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia’s clinical interests include mainly complex and reconstructive spine surgery, namely Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery and Adult Scoliosis Surgery. He is one of the first surgeons to work on developing a deformity system with SpineFrontier, and has already contributed several novel and useful concepts. He has a special interest in bringing SpineFrontier’s devices, techniques, and clinical support to his home country of Peru. Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia has also become a frequent user of SpineFrontier’s new A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™ Cervical Standalone, and has created several new techniques to use it in conjunction with posterior cervical screws for cervical deformity correction.

Dr. Valdivia-Valdivia is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

100th Less Exposure Surgery Procedure Completed by Industry Leading Surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carlson

100th Less Exposure Surgery Procedure Completed by Industry Leading Surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carlson

Newport News, Virginia –Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Orthopaedic & Spine Center announced today that Dr. Jeffrey R. Carlson finished his 100th case using SpineFrontier’s® PedFuse® REmind® Screws. The operation took place on Tues., June 30, 2015, at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, VA. The procedure was an L5-S1 posterior lumbar interbody fusion on a 69 year old, male patient. Prior to undergoing surgery, the patient suffered constant pain and failed conservative treatments including chiropractic treatments and steroid injections.

Dr. Carlson’s milestone case represents a significant achievement in the innovative, Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) midline approach. Implanting PedFuse REmind screws via the LES midline approach minimizes tissue disruption and results in smaller incisions. It may also reduce blood loss, and surgery time while potentially speeding up the patient’s recovery.

Less Exposure Surgery (LES) is based on a new philosophy of doing surgery. LES is less invasive than MIS. LES incisions are small incisions through which the surgeon only exposes what needs to be treated for maximum effectiveness. By developing innovative technologies and techniques tailored for pinpointing the problem and fixing it without collateral damage, LES minimizes normal tissue disruption without relying on excessive radiation.

Dr. Carlson remarked on the LES technique, “Advancements in spine surgical techniques are now allowing patients to have outpatient lumbar fusions. SpineFrontier continues to lead in techniques that decrease the pain of surgery and provide the same outcomes as standard procedures. Less pain, less blood loss, and quicker recoveries are the driving force behind these new techniques.”

Susan Finkel, a patient of Dr. Carlson’s who underwent an outpatient Less Exposure Surgery midline procedure, emphasized the ease of her recovery. “Having this done was one of the best decisions that I have ever made and being able to go home within a few hours of surgery and being able to return to work so quickly made this the easiest surgery I’ve ever had.”

Dr. Carlson is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, focused on treating spine disorders. He received his M.D. from George Washington University in 1993 and completed his residency in orthopaedics at the Harvard Medical School Hospitals (Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital). He also completed an Orthopedic Trauma Surgery Fellowship and a Spine Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Carlson is a managing partner of the Orthopaedic and Spine Center in Newport News, VA and served as Chief of Surgery at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Dr. Carlson is a long-time supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. As an expert in his field, he has published and lectured extensively on the subject of orthopedics and has appeared on television several times. In 2008, Dr. Carlson was one of the first surgeons in his area to perform a cervical disc replacement.

About the PedFuse REmind Midline Screw Family

SpineFrontier designed the PedFuse REmind Midline Screw Family under the unifying umbrella of LES midline tissue-preserving surgery. The PedFuse Pedicle Screws use CortiCan™ thread technology, which means the wider space between threads at the tip of the screw bonds it to the less dense, cancellous bone interior and threads grow closer together at the proximal head of the screw to grip the harder, cortical shell on the surface of the bone.

About SpineFrontier® Inc.

SpineFrontier Inc. is a growing medical technology company that designs, develops and markets both implants and instruments for spine surgery based on the Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) Philosophy. These technologies are designed to allow for outpatient surgery due to minimal disruption of normal tissues. SpineFrontier believes LESS is MORE: LESS time in treatment and recovery is MORE time in action for patients and surgeons. SpineFrontier is headquartered in Beverly, MA. It was founded in 2006, and released its first products in 2008. SpineFrontier is a KICVentures portfolio company and the leader in LES technologies and instruments.

Jamaica’s First A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™ Case LESS Institute Gives Back - SpineFrontier

The LESS Institute Gives Back: Jamaica’s First A-CIFT SoloFuse-P Case

On July 3, 2015, Dr. Kingsley R. Chin of the LESS Institute in Florida and Jamaican Neurosurgeon Dr. Franz Pencle performed a Less Exposure Surgery procedure on a middle age, male patient who suffered from severe myelopathy (spinal cord compression) due to a progressive degenerative disorder. The procedure took place at Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Before surgery, the patient was incapacitated. “He was basically quadriplegic,” Dr. Fabio Pencle, a LESS Institute Research Fellow who supported the case says. “On his strength test, he scored a 1/5 throughout all limbs –which means he could barely flicker his digits.” Dr. Fabio Pencle believes that the patient survived because of treatment. “Patients with similar symptoms demised because they didn’t receive timely treatment,” says Dr. Fabio Pencle.

Dr. Chin, Dr. Franz Pencle and Dr. Fabio Pencle donated their time for the case and SpineFrontier, Inc. donated the SoloFuse hardware. The Less Exposure Surgery (LES) procedure was performed through a midline cervical incision, dissection to expose the affected level and a discectomy using rongeurs and burr. A DBM packed A-CIFT SoloFuse was placed and fixed with screws. This was the first case of a standalone implant in Jamaica. It was also the first outpatient spine surgery done at Cornwall Hospital. The patient could sit upright twelve hours after surgery, and he tested 5/5 on a strength test in the upper limbs and 4/5 in the lower limbs –indicating that he had significant improvement in less than 24 hours.

About SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™

The A-CIFT SoloFuse-P standalone Less Exposure Surgery system features a simple dual screw construct, a large graft window, large diameter screws, and slim, agile instrumentation. Its zero-profile and all PEEK-OPTIMA Natural design minimizes tissue disruption.

LESS Talk, More Doing: Changing Lives in Jamaica, SpineFrontier Less Exposure Surgery story

LESS Talk, More Doing: Changing Lives in Jamaica

On a late Saturday night in May, an unlikely group of people’s paths crossed in a small operating room in the University Hospital of the West Indies. It was hot, and beads of sweat formed on the doctors’ foreheads above their surgical masks. Outside the O.R., the windows in the hallways were open to catch the breeze that filtered through the open slats. The hallway was quiet, filled only with an empty gurney with a canvas stretcher and wood handles. A clock on the wall covered in a metal casing methodically tracked the passing moments.

Inside the O.R., Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, an orthopaedic surgeon and founder of Less Exposure Surgery Specialists (LESS) Institute in Florida, and Dr. Carl A. Bruce, a consultant neurosurgeon at the University of the West Indies at Mona Jamaica, operated on a fifteen year old young woman. Around them stood Kevin Chappuis, a medical technology engineer from SpineFrontier, Inc, Harisha Buggam, a medical device distributor in the West Indies, and the University’s Chief of Anesthesiology, Dr. Harding. The operation, a high level, scoliosis case, required that surgeons correct a deformity in the patient’s spine.

Shinel Binns, the patient lying on the operating table, was fit and healthy -a normal young woman in every way, except for the severe curve in her spine. Standing up, Shinel’s legs were perpendicular to the ground, but at her waist, her torso and head angled sharply to the left, as if she had to fight gravity from pulling her left shoulder and head to the ground. A lifetime of trying to hold her head and torso upright to counterbalance her lumbar spine’s deformity had begun to create a curve in her thoracic spine.

Shinel lived in Saint Elizabeth Parish –a two hour journey from the hospital she was now being treated at in Kingston, Jamaica. She and her family had waited a long time for this moment. She would never have been able to afford an operation, but the donated time from the doctors, and over $500,000 in donated technology and personnel from SpineFrontier, as well as her community’s donation of $5,000, was making her operation possible.

Dr. Kingsley R. Chin had flown in earlier that day from the United States. Born and raised in Jamaica, he often returned to perform surgeries for people in need. As a pioneer in the Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) approach, Chin has devoted his life to refining and training others in a revolutionary approach to back surgery. The LES Philosophy of surgery pinpoints the problem, fixes it without collateral damage to surrounding tissues, and lets patients go home the same day.

A patient examination and X-Rays had confirmed to the doctors that Shinel’s original spinal deformity was in the lumbar spine. Because the thoracic curve was compensatory to keep her upright, Dr. Chin and Dr. Bruce operated on the most pronounced section of the curve (L1-L4). Dr. Chin used a Less Exposure Surgery (LES) approach, addressing the most pronounced section of the spinal curve (L1-L4) by inserting SpineFrontier’s S-LIFT® Lateral Interbody through a single, three inch incision at those levels to straighten out the spine. The surgeons then placed unilateral MISquito® Percutaneous Pedicle Screws to hold the straightened position.

The LES approach through the small incision on the side of the abdomen was low impact and saved Shinel the trauma of an incision through her stabilizing back muscles that could disrupt her strength. It also minimized the surgical trauma and maximized its effectiveness for a rapid and less painful recovery. This approach was especially important because it would allow a teenage girl to resume her daily activities more quickly. The surgeons expected that the thoracic curve would straighten itself over time. After the operation, Shinel already felt straighter and only had minimal superficial pain.

Harisha Buggum, the medical device distributor, had observed several other scoliosis corrections before through the Scotiabank Scoliosis Programme that provided implants at a greatly reduced cost to teenagers with scoliosis. But she had a renewed sense of excitement when talking about Shinel’s operation.

In this surgery, you could see the technology changing the deformity and you could see the spine literally straightening up through the fluoro imaging. It’s good to know technology has turned in the direction so that someone with scoliosis can actually get a correction from Less Exposure Surgery.”

“I’ve never seen that kind of procedure done,” Harisha said, leaning forward and talking energetically, “This was different for us than our day-to-day [procedures]. In this surgery, you could see the technology changing the deformity and you could see the spine literally straightening up through the fluoro imaging. It’s good to know technology has turned in the direction so that someone with scoliosis can actually get a correction from Less Exposure Surgery.”      

Harisha’s excitement over what she observed in the O.R. was just a small window into the many cases that Dr. Chin and his colleagues at the LESS Institute perform on a daily basis in the United States.

“This case is a perfect example of how Less Exposure Surgery can transform a patient’s life,” Chin commented.

Introducing the SIJ-Fuse Screw: Making Treatment Better through LES Technology

Introducing the SIJ-Fuse Screw: Making Treatment Better through LES Technology

The SIJ-Fuse Screw is a fenestrated, hollow rod used to fuse the sacroiliac joint. Dr. Kingsley R. Chin and SpineFrontier’s Medical Advisory Board developed the concept for an improved sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion system to improve patient recovery time and outcomes.

In the past, SIJ fusion procedures required three fusion rods. But the SIJ-Fuse Screw’s innovative design only requires two rods. By offering more surface area per screw, the SIJ-Fuse provides the same strength of fixation as older systems, but with fewer rods – leading to fewer incisions.

The fenestrations, or holes in the rod enable surgeons to fill the implant with bone graft, increasing the likelihood of boney in-growth and fusion. This all leads to less surgical time, making SIJ-Fuse an emblematic Less Exposure Surgery Technology. It is with great pride that the SpineFrontier team introduces SIJ-Fuse to the world as they look forward to FDA approval later this year.

Dr. Mark W. McFarland Successfully Completes Surgery Using SpineFrontier's® Less Exposure Surgery A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™

Dr. Mark W. McFarland Successfully Completes Surgery Using SpineFrontier’s® Less Exposure Surgery A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™

Check out our latest press release about Dr. McFarland’s A-CIFT SoloFuse-P Case!

Newport News, VA

Orthopaedic & Spine Center announced today that Dr. Mark W. McFarland successfully implanted SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ SoloFuse-P™. The operation took place on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, VA. The procedure was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 57 year old, male patient.  The patient suffered from both neck pain and bilateral shoulder pain as a result of stenosis at the operative level C3-4. Prior to undergoing surgery, the patient failed conservative treatments including physical therapy and anti-inflammatories.

SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT SoloFuse-P is a Less Exposure Surgery (LES®) technology. LES technologies are designed with outpatient surgery in mind and strive for less disruption of the tissues. The A-CIFT SoloFuse-P standalone, intervertebral body fusion device is a Less Exposure Surgery System featuring a simple, dual screw construct, a large graft window, large diameter screws, and slim, agile instrumentation. Its zero-profile and all PEEK-OPTIMA Natural design minimize tissue disruption.

Dr. McFarland remarked on the advantages of SoloFuse-P’s design in the operation: “Today’s case demonstrates an extremely minimally invasive surgical technique to fuse the cervical spine.  The new SoloFuse standalone device eliminates the need for an overly aggressive surgical exposure or removal of previous spinal instrumentation. It serves to minimize our patients’ post-operative discomfort and speed their final recovery.”

SpineFrontier engineer Lucas Diehl explained how A-CIFT SoloFuse-P leverages the familiarity of existing techniques while providing an alternative to cumbersome plating for one-level procedures. “Its standalone design makes implantation easier. The technology was designed with surgeons in mind. It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s consistent,” said Lucas Diehl.

Dr. McFarland currently practices orthopaedic surgery at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Newport News, VA where he focuses primarily on the care and treatment of injuries and disorders of the spine. Dr. McFarland graduated from Oklahoma State University Medical School in 1999. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at Ohio University and then went on to complete an Orthopaedic Spine Surgery Fellowship at the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. McFarland is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. Among other honors, he received the “Graduating Physician Academic Excellence Award.” His research includes studies on vertebral compression fracture outcomes.

Also check it out on PRWeb & Boston.Com.

Medtronic Divergence Validates SpineFrontier’s Current Solutions

SpineFrontier is excited to hear about the release of the Medtronic Divergence as it validates our current ACDF solutions Inset and SoloFuse-P™.

We launched our Inset plate in 2012. Having a plate and cage married together provides the fixation of a plate with the most minimal proximity to the adjacent disc. Our Inset plate was originally designed as an adjacent segment solution for surgeons to add a level above or below an existing construct during revision surgery. It has since become extremely popular as a one-level primary plate to eliminate the occurrence of adjacent segment disease caused by the plate. Its extremely low-profile design also reduces dysphasia. This, combined with streamlined trial drill guide instrumentation and a zero-step locking mechanism, dramatically improves the usability for the surgeon.

Our latest step in the journey to develop the ultimate anterior cervical solutions happened earlier this  year, with the release of our PEEK-OPTIMA® HA interbody system earlier this year. SpineFrontier is the first company in the United States to market a device with this exceptional material. This means is our PEEK cages are now impregnated with a homogoneous mixture of hydroxyapatite (HA) and PEEK, which provides the mechanical properties of PEEK and the biological advantages of HA to encourage bony apposition to the implant itself. Traditional PEEK Optima is bio-inert and only provides structural support for bone to grow around it but this new PEEK-OPTIMA HA takes cervical fusion to the next level by utilizing the implant as part of the patient’s biological construct.

Our SoloFuse-P™ standalone cervical plate offer an even less profile solution that provides a magnificent bone graft window and the largest diameter screws in its class for maximal purchase and fixation. The SoloFuse-P standalone will be available with HA PEEK later this year. We welcome the Medtronic Divergence device to the family as it complements the surgical approach that we started in 2012. We have had great results ever since!

Texas Back Institute Embraces Sterilized Single Use Instruments

I was excited to read about the use of sterilized single-use spine surgery instruments at the Texas Back Institute. SpineFrontier is also developing sterilized single-use spine surgery instruments to be manufactured here in the U.S. We are looking for partner surgical centers (ASC) and hospitals to help us demonstrate the clinical and economic benefits of this new technology.

Dr. Guyer, the orthopedic surgeon (and past president of the North American Spine Society –NASS), together with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Zigler (a past president of the American Spinal Injury Association –ASIA) performed the minimally invasive lumbar fusion using Safe Orthopaedics’ single-use instruments. In Safe Orthopaedics’ press release, Dr. Guyer reported that the product was easy to use and generated substantial time savings.

In the same press release, Dr. Zigler commented on the easy training and time savings for surgeons: “For mini-invasive screw implantation the system is as user-friendly as any of the standard systems we use. The learning curve is minimal limited to 1or 2 cases for most if not all surgeons.”

By providing instrument kits and implants in packaging that’s already sterilized and easier to use, SpineFrontier wants to help customers improve patient care and significantly reduce healthcare cost. We believe sterilized, single-use instruments like Peel Pack will decrease infection rates and operational costs, eliminate the need for in-house sterilization and reduce the cost through bulk-purchasing. They will also help surgery centers reduce storage space for bulky kits and create an easy-to-manage inventory. Pre-sterilized surgical kits have the potential to deliver cost and time savings to surgeons in OR’s across the nation.