Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are commonly treated by injecting bone cement into the fractures (vertebroplasty), often with the help of an inflatable balloon (kyphoplasty) that restores the internal shape of the vertebra. A new system just cleared by the FDA provides a new option that involves first delivering an implant into the vertebra before pouring in the cement.
The Kiva VCF from Benvenue Medical (Santa Clara, CA) comprises a special delivery tool that first positions a guidewire inside the vertebra that coils up into a helix. The actual implant, made from the now popular PEEK-OPTIMA biocompatible polymer, is then pushed over the guidewire. The guidewire is then withdrawn and bone cement is injected into the space around the implant. The company hopes that because less cement is used due to the implant taking up much of the volume, there will be a lower incidence of cement leakage.
Here’s an animation demonstrating the workings of the Kiva VCF: