3 spine innovations exciting ASC execs 

As spine surgeries increasingly migrate to the outpatient setting, ASC leaders are keeping an eye on new technologies changing the way these procedures are performed. 

"I am most excited about continued technological advancements in the world of spine surgery," Todd Lansford, MD, spine surgeon at Charleston-based South Carolina Sports Medicine, told Becker's

1. Titanium expandable cages

Titanium expandable cages cages are better designed than other hardware, Dr. Lansford said, allowing for more reproducible outcomes and improved patient quality of life. 

In September, Accelus made its TiHawk9 expandable interbody cage commercially available. It features a nonporous layer of titanium at the device's bony interface and is used for minimally invasive spine surgery. 

2. New pharma innovations

Alan Rechter, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Houston-based Orthopaedic Associates told Becker's he's most excited about the development of new products by pharma companies to treat patients after surgery. , 

"Pain control and the opioid epidemic have answers now. Picture a patient not taking one pain pill after a joint replacement — that happens now," Dr. Rechter said. 

Surgeons can also better manage post-op patients with improved injectables and non-narcotic treatment paradigms, Dr. Lansford said. 

3. Artificial intelligence 

"Artificial intelligence has impacted every aspect of decision-making outside of medicine," Isador Lieberman, MD, a spine surgeon at Plano-based Texas Back Institute told Beckers. "In spine surgery, we rely far too heavily on the art of surgery. As spine surgeons, we absolutely need an objective, scientific way to decide upon whom we should operate, and what would be the most appropriate and least invasive method, with the highest likelihood of success."

Artificial intelligence and the use of demographic data, radiographic assessment, objective biomechanical measures and patient-reported outcomes will change the way spine surgery is conducted, Dr. Lieberman said. 

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