Medtronic launches spinal surgery tool in Europe

Medtronic ($MDT) is debuting a new surgical tool in Europe designed to help surgeons perform osteotomies to treat severe spinal curvature in adults. The launch comes in tandem with a new CE mark.

The Minnesota device company built its latest surgical instrument in Switzerland based on a concept developed by Le Huec, a researcher and expert based in France.

Dubbed ReDuX Plier, the tool has a special function: to help protect the front of the vertebrae from collapse during the osteotomy procedure. Osteotomies, or more precisely, pedicle subtraction osteotomies, involve the removal of a triangle-sized wedge of bone from the middle of the vertebrae. When complete, it is designed to provide a progressive correction, helping patients to stand straight and reduce their pain.

Le Huec says in a statement that the tool he helped design improves standard of care, giving surgeons a more sophisticated option than tools currently in the marketplace.

The new tool will certainly help Medtronic generate attention. And while it offers another option for physicians treating patients with spinal deformities, it's too early to tell whether the product will be a blockbuster. The company's spinal business sure could use one, having displayed essentially flat growth for the company at the end of 2012.

- read the release

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