A new ‘train track’ implant is being trialled by doctors with the aim of transforming treatment for thousands of patients with a severe spinal condition.
Researchers at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust have created the MESA Rail to treat scoliosis.
The condition, which causes the spine to twist and curve, can strike people of any age but most often affects teenagers.
Current treatment, known as the Universal Spine System (USS) – a method of performing anterior scoliosis correction surgery, involves placing two circular metal rods either side of the spine which are screwed in.
But the MESA Rail, which fits in a similar fashion to the way in which a train slots into railway tracks, can be fitted more rigidly to the spine because it uses smaller screws.
Researchers at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust have created the MESA Rail to treat scoliosis
Evan Davies, a consultant spinal surgeon at the NHS trust who developed the device, believes it could potentially create better correction.
In the world’s first trial of MESA Rail, Mr Davies and colleagues will compare it against ASC, which is cheaper, to see if it is more effective.
Although the MESA Rail is more costly, if it can reduce the need for further surgery, Mr Davies believes it could save the NHS money in the long-term