Artificial Bone Makes Back Surgery Easier

WNBC.com—March 1, 2006

Millions of Americans suffer from back pain, often due to degenerated disks or an unstable spine.  For those patients, surgery may be necessary, which often means some kind of bone graft or fusion.  Thanks to new technology, a high-tech material makes that surgery easier.

“Vitoss is a synthetic ceramic material made out of calcium phosphate, and it is very similar to your bone in terms of porosity,” said Frank P. Cammisa Jr., M.D., chief of the spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery.  “When we mix it with bone marrow, which contains the cells that are able to manufacture bone, it actually works as if your own bone was there in that space that we are trying to fuse.”

“Basically, this material will turn into your own bone,” said Cammisa. “It will heal just as if we put a structural piece of your own bone in there.”

The Vitoss procedure not only lessens the pain, but helps the bone heal and fuse faster, making recovery safer and quicker.

View an Internet version of the WNBC.com news segment.

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