October 7, 2003 - Innovative Spinal Surgery to be Featured in Internet Broadcast from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

A new minimally invasive approach to spinal surgery will be broadcast live on the internet at 5 pm EDT on Tuesday, October 7 from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The surgery, a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), will employ a new tubular retraction method that requires only a small skin incision and "splits" the muscle covering the spine to create a small portal through which surgeons can repair the spinal damage.

Charles L. Branch Jr., M.D., Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest, who helped to adapt the minimally invasive technique - known as METRx - for PLIF, will perform the surgery. "The METRx minimally invasive technology is useful for most herniated disc surgery, in both the cervical and lumbar areas," Branch said. "And we are developing its use in the treatment of tumors, fractures and other spine pathologies."

For the surgery in October, Dr. Branch will use an innovative device called a Sextant (because it looks like a navigational sextant), that requires only one additional skin puncture to set a titanium rod that anchors the two vertebrae. Both the METRx and Sextant systems are products of Medtronic Sofamor Danek, with whom Branch has collaborated extensively over the past several years. The company will be a sponsor of the October webcast. CME credit available.

To Access Broadcast:
www.or-live.com/wfubmc/1142