Although most spinal conditions do not require surgery, sometimes it is necessary to undergo a surgery. Such kind of surgical procedure is often with implant systems that utilize specially developed spinal instrumentation. The implants are employed to make healing simpler, correct defects and stabilize and reinforce the spinal cord. The majority of spinal implants are made from metals such as titanium, titanium alloy, or stainless steel. They are available in various shapes and sizes for different patients of all ages.
- Different groups of spinal implants are categorized as follows:
- Rods are one of the first vertebral implants. Rods, with hooks and screws, are used for immobilizing the spinal cord and contouring the spine in order to ensure proper alignment. The rods are strong but have a certain degree of flexibility to be shaped to match the contours of the patient's body.
- Pedicle screws are crafted specifically for the implantation of the pedicles of the spinal vertebrae. Screws give strong points of "anchoring" that can be attached to rods. Then rods can be circularized and fused to correct deformities.
- Hooks are used for anchoring vertebras with rods and other implants.
- Plates are utilized in the cervical spine. The plates are made to conform to the spinal contour and supported by screws set into neighboring vertebrae. Then the plate needs adjustment; so in order to adapt the plate for the anatomy of the patient, a contouring tool is employed.
- Cages are often referred to as "interbody" cages. This is because they are positioned between the vertebrae most often. Cages are hollow small, drilled walls devices. Bone graft or BMP is often inserted into the cage for bone growth between the neighboring vertebrae. Cages are used to regain a collapsed disc's lost height and to relieve pressure on the nerve roots.