Barrow Innovation Center Case Series: Early Clinical Experience with Novel Surgical Instrument Used To Prevent Intraoperative Spinal Cord Injuries.



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OBJECTIVE: The Barrow Innovation Center comprises an educational program in medical innovation that enables residents to identify problems in patient care and rapidly develop and implement solutions to these problems. Residents involved in this program noted an elevated risk of iatrogenic spinal cord injury during posterior cervical and thoracic procedures. The objective of this study was to describe this complication, and a novel solution was developed through a new innovation training program.

METHODS: A case report demonstrates the risk of iatrogenic spinal cord injury during posterior cervical decompression and fusion. Solutions to this problem were developed at the innovation center via an iterative process of prototype creation, cadaveric testing, and redesign. Patent law students who partnered with the center wrote and filed a provisional patent protecting the novel prototype designs.

RESULTS: The concept of a protective shield for the spinal cord was developed, and within only 6 weeks the devices were provisionally patented and used in the operating room. This device was named the Myeloshield. Initial clinical experience indicates that the Myeloshield can be used without impeding the flow of surgery and has the potential to prevent iatrogenic spinal cord injury; this experience is presented through 2 case reports demonstrating the use of Myeloshields in the operating room.

CONCLUSIONS: This report demonstrates how programs like the Barrow Innovation Center can provide neurosurgery residents with a unique educational experience in medical device innovation and intellectual property development and can serve as an avenue of surgical quality improvement and problem solving.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Cadaver; Equipment Design; Female; Humans; Iatrogenic Disease; Internship and Residency; Intraoperative Complications; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Middle Aged; Neurosurgery; Neurosurgical Procedures; Patents as Topic; Postoperative Complications; Spinal Cord; Spinal Cord Injuries; Spinal Stenosis; Surgical Instruments

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World Neurosurg





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