Posterior Dynamic Stabilization Devices

What is it?

Devices in this category can best be described as an internal brace – allowing controlled movement of the affected segment of the spine. Most of these devices tend to be derived from the pedicle screw and rod constructs (used in spinal fusion surgery) of the 1980s and 1990s. Those devices were designed to provide rigid stability to the spine while boney incorporation of the fusion mass was achieved. The goal of the new generation of devices is to allow controlled motion in such as way as to achieve more normal movement of the spine.

Rather than having rigid screws and stiff metallic rods, this group of devices has components that are flexible.

What is done?

The procedure is similar to the T- LIF procedure (Link). In this case a flexible rod is used to connect the spine, instead of the traditional rigid rod used in T-LIF. The device stabilizes the joints, helping to keep the vertebrae in a more natural position while leaving the spine itself intact. Made of flexible materials, the device permits a controlled range of bending, straightening and twisting movement in the affected joints.

Disclaimer: It should be emphasized that none of the devices in this category of spine surgery have withstood the test of time, and most are still in various stages of investigation. For example, there is some concern that interspinous devices may lead to kyphosis, but to date there are no data to suggest that kyphosis develops and this will only be proven or dis-proven over time.

As you read this please keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, bowel or bladder problems, are some of the potential adverse risks of spinal surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information.