The company DeGen Medical has announced that its 3D-printed spinal implant “Solar AM” was implanted for the first time in a surgery. The debut took place at the Texas Back Institute, considered one of the largest specialized spine centers in the world.
The procedures were performed by surgeons Dr. Peter Derman and Dr. Alexander Satin at the Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery within the Texas Back Institute. In doing so, they became the first medical professionals to use the additively manufactured implant on their patients.
The Solar AM is an implant for anterior lumbar spinal fusion (ALIF). It is used in the lumbar region between the abdomen and back. According to manufacturer DeGen Medical, the implant is 3D printed, eliminating cutting oils and material transfers.
This, along with special metallurgy, is said to improve visualization and imaging with the implant. Solar AM is available in a variety of sizes and options to cover different patient anatomies. It is made of PuriTi titanium material from DeGen Medical.
Surgeon Scott Blumenthal of the Texas Back Institute sees the 3D-printed implant and its instrumentation as a new industry standard. In particular, he cites the improved imaging properties over conventional titanium as a major advantage, as there are fewer artifacts in the images.
According to manufacturer DeGen Medical, the customizable Solar AM implant enables minimally invasive procedures with short surgery and recovery times. It is an effective treatment option for chronic back pain caused by degeneration of the lower lumbar spine, he said. The successful premiere marks a first step in allowing patients to benefit from the advantages of additive manufacturing, he said.