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Medtronic launches second-generation catheter system for low back pain

Medtronic : 18 September, 2008  (New Product)
Medtronic has announced the US launch of the Discyphor Direct Catheter System, the second-generation catheter system used by physicians to obtain additional information to diagnose discogenic low back pain.
The Discyphor Direct Catheter System provides additional information to help identify which disc is causing a patient’s pain. More than 100,000 patients annually undergo spinal surgery for discogenic low back pain in the USA, but patient satisfaction from such surgeries is mixed.

“With the Discyphor Direct Catheter System, we are empowering physicians to independently assess discs to determine the source of a patient’s back pain while delivering many enhancements over our first-generation product,” said Robert White, president of Kyphon and Interspinous Process Decompression Devices for the Spinal and Biologics at Medtronic, which markets the Discyphor product line. “Both patients and physicians will benefit from this new system because of its improved ease of use and a needle that is designed with an atraumatic or blunt tip.”

With the Discyphor Direct Catheter System, physicians use Medtronic’s innovative Functional Anaesthetic Discography (FAD) Procedure that identifies a patient’s discogenic pain by anaesthetizing each suspect disc individually. The procedure differs from typical means of diagnosis such as imaging studies or provocative discography, which generates pain in an attempt to locate the suspected disc. The FAD Procedure was introduced two years ago and has been used on more than 3,000 patients.

During the FAD Procedure, a proprietary balloon Catheter is anchored into discs suspected of causing pain, which allows injection of anaesthetic while the patient is performing typical pain-eliciting activities. If the patient shows improved functional response to the anaesthetic injection, this allows physicians to make a more informed diagnosis of the source(s) of a patient’s low back pain and may help them choose the optimal treatment option. The procedure also facilitates diagnosis of discogenic pain at multiple levels, one at a time, through use of multiple catheters.

While the procedure is often performed by pain management specialists, spine surgeons benefit from the diagnostic information to help determine the optimal treatment for their patients. Medtronic will introduce the Discyphor Direct Catheter System to the spine surgeon community at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society (NASS) in Toronto, Canada in October.
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