HEALTH WATCH: New spinal implant developed by doctors at Hughston Clinic


Almost 80% of Americans will have back problems at some point in their lifetime.  

Now, there’s a new spinal implant for patients with certain spine conditions that lead to back pain. The implant, according to one of the doctors who helped develop it, says it is well accepted by the body, which is important in the healing process.

Heather Nicholson is a special education teacher at Shaw High School. She’s been teaching for 16 years, and she loves it. A spine problem though made what she loves very difficult.

“I started having radiating pain that was coming down my arm and a little bit of back pain. The pain in my arm just go so severe that it was so uncomfortable all  day long no matter what I did. So it was affecting my job and you know, just my quality of life.”

Nicholson had a herniated disc that was pushing into her spinal cord which was causing the pain to radiate down her arm.

Dr. Kenneth Burkus is among a group of doctors at the Hughston Clinic to develop a new spinal implant that, because its surface is porous and not smooth,  the bone cells would grow into. Dr. Burkus says the implant helps reduce pain and maintains the spine’s alignment.

Dr. Burkus says the new spinal implant was a collaboration between Hughston Clinic doctors, Nuvasive Spine Surgeries, Georgia Tech and Duke.

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