Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Infuse Spine Graft

Today an interesting article popped up on Google news.

About 85% of Infuse use is off-label. A U.S. Senate committee has now also launched an investigation into reports that doctors with financial ties to the medical device company were aware of potentially serious complications when using Infuse.

This brings me back to one of my initial posts and how the first surgeon wanted to use it in a posterior approach--which is off label since it was only approved in anterior surgeries.

From another site:

The report, published in The Spine Journal, found that approximately 10% to 50% of patients who were part of clinical trials experienced Medtronic Infuse complications, such as cancer, pain, infections and sterility. However, those problems failed to appear in a number of studies published by researchers with financial ties to the manufacturer.


Great--this is what they put in to stimulate bone growth, in my case, the sponge in the middle of the bone graft.

Luckily for me I should be free of issues since it was an anterior approach and I did not experience the complications stated in the news articles. However this is certainly a lesson in that the latest is not always the greatest, and that no matter how hard you try there's always a scummy medical device company out there bribing physicians to sweep the actual data under the rug. Thankfully the FDA is keeping a watch on these things. But don't worry, the republicans will save our government by cutting funding to the FDA so we won't have these pesky agencies messing up the Medtronic stock....but at the same time cut taxes for Medtronic executives and the well off physicians who fudge the data! Great!