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[COLOR=DarkGreen][CENTER][B]Hello Jim :wave: [/B] [/CENTER]

[INDENT]The term Load Sharing means: Structural support through grafts and/or implants. I actually had to look this up as I was not certain if all implants were load sharing or is some were bearing. The reason I state this is because when patient's agree to a spinal fusion they are usually informed that the levels above and below will have more strain on them. I think that your doctor may be suggesting the Peek Spacer as Fly stated. This can be used with or without a fusion. PEEK is spinal implant, which is radiolucent so the progress of the fusion mass can be monitored post-operatively. Its modulus of elasticity is close to natural bone, so that a cage or spacer made from PEEK is load sharing not load bearing. This feature optimises the fusion rate. Pure PEEK is not reinforced with carbon-fibres thus avoids the possibility of inflammatory tissues reactions caused by carbon-fibre debris.

Also their is another called Polyhydroxyacids. Polyhydroxyacids are a promising class of bioresorbable materials with potential applications in spinal surgery. One such polymer, MacroPore offers a balance of strength, predictable degradation, lack of stimulus of foreign body reaction, and biocompatibility with neural tissue. MacroPore can be formed into an array of shapes and can be manufactured, sterilized, and stored with conventional techniques. Limited clinical experience has been gained with bioresorbable implants that are used as load-sharing devices. You can research more of this on the web.

Another thing that was once discussed here on the boards by a member was DYNESYS. (Dynamic Neutralization System) This is a flexible stabilization devices and a believe it is also Load Sharing but I am not positive. I have heard that this procedure was being used in Europe and maybe they are now bringing it to the US. But after re-reading your post I don't think this is what your doctor was talking about because this is not a spacer.

Anyway I wish you the very best with your research, and your second opinion. Have a Happy Holiday.[/INDENT]

[CENTER][B]:angel: Jeanne :angel: [/B] [/CENTER] [/COLOR]
____________________
[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][B]~[U]LUMBAR[/U]~[/B]
Posterolateral Fusion & Infuse with Laminectomy & Discectomy on L4,L5,S1 June 2003
Instrumentation = 2 Rods, 6 Screws, 2 Disc Spacers
[U]Lumbar CT Scan 9/24/03[/U]
Impression:
The thecal sac appears to be deviated slightly to the left around L5.
Mild posteior subcutaneous edema.
L3-L4 mild circumferential disc bulge.
L4-5, L5-S1, mild disc bulges are noted.
Follow up MRI recommended. (Neuro surgeon said report was incorrect)
[U]Lumbar MRI 1/20/04[/U]
Impression:
Small amount of post operative fluid collection at level L4 which does not appear to communicate with the thecal sac.
Encasement of the thecal sac at L4-5 level by enchancing soft tissue, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
Displacement of the left S1 nerve root, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
[U]Lumbar Myelogram 2/26/04[/U]
Impression:
Mild indentation on the subarachnoid space is noted at the level of L4-5 & L5-S1 where there is non-specific soft tissue slightly displacing the subarachnoid space.
[U]Lumbar Post Myelogram 2/26/04[/U]
Impression:
L4-5 non-specific soft tissue is noted in the dorsal & ventral epidural space..
L5-S1, there is non-specific soft tissue noted in the ventral epidural space slightly displacing the dural sac posteriorly.
[U]EMG 9/13/04[/U]
Distal Peroneal Neuropathy Bilaterally
Bilateral Chronic L4 versus L5 Radiculopathy
[B]~[U]CERVICAL[/U]~[/B]
Straightening of the Normal Cervical Lordosis.
Mild Congenital Narrowing of the Spinal Canal.
C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 Herniated Discs
C4-5 & C5-6 , Cord Flattening at these levels.

[B]Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Pre-Diabetic,
Anemia, Asthma, Acid Reflux, Migraine's, Sleep Apnea[/B][/COLOR]





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