Novel Forceps Design to Decrease the Risk of Spinal Cord Injury During Electrode Insertion
A laminectomy is a surgery that removes a portion of the vertebral bone to relieve back pain. It is performed when more conservative medical treatments have failed. Frequently performed on patients who suffer severe pain due to herniated disks, the procedure requires that surgeons insert a paddle type electrode onto the spinal cord for stimulation. Currently, surgeons use straight or bayonet-type forceps and must firmly grip the edges of the electrode to ensure its stability. However, this tends to bend the electrode in a “U” shape resulting in increased pressure on the spinal cord during insertion and risk of spinal cord injury.
UIC researchers have developed a novel design for forceps used to insert a paddle electrode at to the spinal cord and advance it forward by applying force from the sides. This unique design allows the electrode to fit tightly in the grip of the forceps and eliminates pressure on the midline spinal structures.