BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Gadsden surgeon has invented a new orthopedic device that can custom fit anyone's spine.
The new Sagittae device fits between vertebrae when the disc usually there becomes degenerative.
Dr. James “Dusty” Smith, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Sparks Orthopedics and Riverview Regional Medical Center, invented the device while searching for something that improves on similar devices.
What makes this device different is it both elevates and tilts that part of the spine, in a way that requires only minimally invasive surgery.
"It elevates the disc space back to what the normal disc space is as it collapses over time as we get older," Smith told WBRC. "And also, as we get older we tend to want to bend forward. The device will elevate disc space and also tilt it correctly so that you're more in a better position."
Smith developed this device with a couple of engineering students, saying he brought in a couple of minds who thought outside the box.
Smith says he sold the company to a group of investors who could better afford the legal fees as the device worked its way toward FDA approval.
It was approved by the FDA last October, and he’s used it on three patients and says another doctor in California is also using it.