Most of us know someone who has had a part of their body surgically repaired. Maybe you have personally gone through a procedure to fix an annoying injury or have had emergency surgery. More often than not, doctors have to utilize some type of implant to remedy the situation. Here is an overview of some of the most common pieces of hardware used in the operating room.
Plates and Screws
Whenever a cracked or broken bone requires attention, small plates are attached to encourage bone fusion and growth. Titanium or surgical grade stainless steel are the preferred raw materials used to craft these pieces. The manufacturing process consists of CNC design technology along with milling equipment. Each plate is a specific size and requires screws for securing to the affected area. These mechanisms are versatile in that they can be used temporarily and then removed, or they can become a permanent fixture in a body.
This type of cable is most often used to reintegrate both halves of a sternum after heart surgery. The attending physician must cut the bone in two to gain access to the chest cavity. Afterward, the breastbone must be reattached using one of several configurations. Although the aforementioned plates are an option, cables are the least expensive and most low profile solution. Cables consist of up to forty-nine individual strands of wire that can stand up to the strain of daily movement once implanted.
One of the most fascinating medical devices is the vertebral spacer. If a person suffers from degenerative discs or compression, these medical wonders take care of the problem relatively quickly. The majority of spacers are produced from a highly durable plastic called polyether ether ketone, or PEEK for short. Some are coated with a substance which promotes bone growth around them once they are in place. Patients are able to leave the hospital the next day due to entry into the body being minimally invasive.