Method for inserting an artificial implant between two adjacent vertebrae along a coronal plane

CAFC
  • US 8,251,997 B2
  • Filed: 11/29/2011
  • Issued: 08/28/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/13/1988
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A method comprising:

  • making an incision in skin of a patient'"'"'s body to gain access to a disc space between two adjacent vertebrae located within a portion of one of a human thoracic or lumbar spine, said portion of one of the human thoracic or lumbar spine defined by the two adjacent vertebrae having an anterior aspect and a posterior aspect being divided by a first plane through transverse processes of the two adjacent vertebrae, the disc space having a depth measured from an anterior aspect to a posterior aspect of the disc space, each of the two adjacent vertebrae having a vertebral body having a transverse width perpendicular to the depth of the disc space, said incision being proximate an intersection of the skin and a path having an axis lying in a coronal plane passing through a lateral aspect and a medial aspect of the two adjacent vertebrae and anterior to the transverse processes;

    advancing a first surgical instrument having a length into the body of the patient through said incision until proximate the disc space along said path and anterior to the transverse processes;

    advancing a second surgical instrument into the body of the patient through said incision and over at least a portion of the length of said first surgical instrument, said second surgical instrument having a distal end and an opposite proximal end and a length therebetween, said second surgical instrument having a passageway configured to receive a portion of the length of said first surgical instrument therein;

    advancing a third surgical instrument into the body of the patient through said incision and over at least a portion of the length of said second surgical instrument, said third surgical instrument having a distal end for insertion over said second surgical instrument and an opposite proximal end;

    positioning said third surgical instrument such that said distal end of said third surgical instrument is proximate a lateral aspect of the vertebral bodies of the two adjacent vertebrae; and

    inserting, from the position anterior to the transverse processes of the two adjacent vertebrae and along said path, a non-bone interbody intraspinal implant through said third surgical instrument into a laterally facing opening in said portion of one of the human thoracic or lumbar spine, said implant having an insertion end for insertion first into the laterally facing opening and a trailing end and a length therebetween, the length of said implant being sized to occupy substantially the full transverse width of the vertebral bodies of the two adjacent vertebrae, the length of said implant being greater than the depth of the disc space, said implant having opposed surfaces oriented toward each of the vertebral bodies of the two adjacent vertebrae when inserted therebetween, said opposed surfaces having bone engaging projections configured to engage the vertebral bodies of the two adjacent vertebrae, said implant having a maximum height between said bone engaging projections of said opposed surfaces and perpendicular to the length of said implant, the length of said implant being greater than the maximum height of said implant.

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