Dynesys® Dynamic Stabilization System: A Guide for Patients
The Dynesys Dynamic Stabilization System is a new concept in the surgical treatment of lower back and leg pain -- one that uses flexible materials to stabilize the spine and offers another approach to traditional fusion.
If your doctor has recommended fusion surgery, the Dynesys System may be an option. It can help provide added stability and keep the vertebrae in a more natural position than can be achieved with conventional surgery alone.
This information is provided to help you make an informed decision about your spine surgery. If you have any additional questions, please ask your physician as he or she is the only one qualified to comment on your specific condition.
What causes lower back and leg pain?
If you are suffering from lower back or leg pain, you are not alone: The majority of people will suffer from one or both at some point in their lives. View additional information
What treatments are available?
Chronic lower back and leg pain is usually treated non-surgically for as long as possible with rest, ice or heat, weight control, exercise, physical therapy, medication and injections.
However, when these methods fail to result in pain relief and a return to normal daily activities, a surgical spinal fusion may be recommended to restore the spine's alignment and the spacing between vertebrae. This procedure helps to remove pressure from the nerves, reducing or eliminating the pain. In the past, the traditional procedure removed the affected discs and fused the vertebral segments together, eliminating movement and providing stability.
How can the Dynesys System help?
The Dynesys System is a pedicle-screw fixation system, an implant device consisting of a spacer, cord and pedicle screw. It offers a unique approach to stabilization and mobilization of the spine and pain relief -- a "dynamic" approach -- that relies on flexible materials and preserves much of the spinal anatomy.
|At rest: The Dynesys System supports an intervertebral joint||Flexion: The Dynesys System supports the affected joint as the spine bends forward||Extension: It also supports the joints as the spine bends backwards|
Which patients are candidates for the Dynesys System?
The Dynesys System can be used in skeletally mature patients to provide immobilization and stabilization of spinal segments. It is used as an adjunct to fusion to treat degenerative slipped disc(s) (spondylolisthesis) in the thoracic, lumbar or sacral regions when there is evidence of resulting neurologic impairment or in the case of a previous failed fusion (pseudarthrosis).
When should the Dynesys System not be used?
The Dynesys System should not be used in the cervical spine or for patients that are obese, pregnant, abuse alcohol or other drugs, or who have:
- an active or systemic infection
- mental illness
- severe osteoporosis or osteopenia
- sensitivities or allergies to metals, polymers, polyethylene, polycarbonate urethane and polyethylene terephthalate
- soft tissue deficit
- congenital abnormalities
- inadequate pedicles of the thoracic, lumbar and sacral vertebrae
The Dynesys System is also not appropriate for individuals with any medical or mental condition that puts them at high risk from surgery of this severity, those with a condition that will not allow them to benefit from the surgery or decrease the useful life of the device, and those who are unwilling or unable to follow post-operative instructions.
What does surgery with the Dynesys System involve?
The Dynesys System is compatible with conventional surgical techniques, and in some cases can be implanted using a minimally invasive approach. On average, the procedure to implant the Dynesys System takes two to three hours which is similar to the time required for traditional fusion procedures.
|During the procedure, the surgeon removes portions of the affected disc(s) and bone from the spine. The Dynesys System is then attached to the bony extrusion (pedicle) on each side of the affected vertebrae. Once in place, the components create a dynamic push-pull relationship that stabilizes the affected joints and keeps your vertebrae in a natural position. Bone is the most commonly used material to help promote fusion and will be added to achieve the desired fusion.|
What happens after surgery?
It may take several weeks to fully recover from pain resulting from the surgery. However, you may feel almost immediate relief of any leg pain. Back pain should diminish over time now that the vertebrae have been stabilized and nerves are no longer compressed. In most cases, a short hospital stay is required to ensure you adjust to oral pain medication and can move without any problems. Most patients return home within a few days.
Following your surgery, your doctor will prescribe rehabilitation and follow-up visits as needed. It's important to follow your physician's instructions carefully to help ensure a full and quick recovery.
Are complications possible?
Surgery always involves some risk. General surgical complications may include:
- reactions to anesthesia
- heart attack
- blood vessel damage/bleeding
- bruise (hematoma)
- blood clots
- wound closure problems
Potential risks associated with the implantation of the Dynesys System are similar to those associated with any spinal fusion procedure and those risks specific to the implantation of other pedicle-screw systems. They may include:
- tear in the outer lining of the spinal cord which may result in spinal fluid leakage
- temporary decreased or absent intestinal function
- implant migration
- leg pain
- nerve complications
- fractured sacrum
Please consult with your surgeon for a complete list of all warnings and precautions.
The safety and effectiveness of the Dynesys System has not been established for indications beyond those stated here -- including spinal stabilization without fusion.
Following surgery, please contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- signs of infection such as fever, chills, redness around the incision, or a feeling of pressure in the spine
- bleeding or excessive drainage from the incision
- sudden pain or a significant increase in pain
- loss of feeling in your hands or feet
- increased or ongoing shortness of breath
How can I improve my chances of a good outcome?
It's well known that smokers experience lower surgery success rates than non-smokers. If you smoke, please consider stopping as far in advance of surgery as possible. In addition, poor nutrition impacts your body's ability to heal itself. Eat well-balanced, nutritional meals as far in advance of surgery as possible.
What if I have more questions?
This web site is provided to give you information about your treatment options, but it is not intended to replace professional medical care or provide medical advice. If you have any further questions or need additional information about the Dynesys System, please call or see your doctor, who is the only one qualified to diagnose and treat your condition.