US 20060095138 A1
A system and method for treating bone abnormalities including vertebral compression fractures and the like. In one vertebroplasty method, a fill material is injected under high pressures into cancellous bone wherein the fill material includes a flowable bone cement component and an elastomeric polymer component that is carried therein. The elastomer component can further carry microscale or mesoscale reticulated elements. Under suitable injection pressures, the elastomeric component ultimately migrates within the flowable material to alter the apparent viscosity across the plume of fill material to accomplish multiple functions. For example, the differential in apparent viscosity across the fill material creates a broad load-distributing layer within cancellous bone for applying retraction forces to cortical bone endplates. The differential in apparent viscosity also transitions into a flow impermeable layer at the interface of cancellous bone and the flowable material to prevent extravasion of the flowable bone cement component.
32. A method of treating mammalian bone, comprising introducing a flowable media under pressure into cancellous bone, the media including a volume of elastomeric elements wherein the elastomeric elements cause differential apparent viscosity within regions of the flowable media.
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44. A method of treating mammalian bone, comprising flowing a volume of flowable composite media into cancellous bone and transforming the surface regions of the flowable composite media to a substantially flow impermeable form while introducing additional flowable media into the interior of volume.
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50. A method of treating mammalian bone, comprising:
introducing a volume of elastomeric elements into the interior of a bone; and
introducing a flowable media within the volume of elastomeric elements, wherein the elastomeric elements aggregate in outward regions of a plume of the flowable media to cause said outward regions to be substantially flow-impermeable.
This application claims benefit of Provisional U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/578,182 filed Jun. 9, 2004 (Docket No. S-7700-030) titled Scaffold Composites and Methods for Treating Abnormalities in Bone, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety and should be considered a part of this specification.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to bone implant materials and methods and more particularly to composite materials including an elastomer component for treating abnormalities in bones such as compression fractures of vertebra, necrosis of femurs, joint implants and the like. An exemplary method includes introducing a flowable composite material into the interior of a bone wherein increasing pressures result in the elastomer component causing a differential apparent viscosity within selected regions across the flowable material to thereby allow controlled application of forces to the bone for reducing a fracture.
2. Description of the Related Art
Osteoporotic fractures are prevalent in the elderly, with an annual estimate of 1.5 million fractures in the United States alone. These include 750,000 vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) and 250,000 hip fractures. The annual cost of osteoporotic fractures in the United States has been estimated at $13.8 billion. The prevalence of VCFs in women age 50 and older has been estimated at 26%. The prevalence increases with age, reaching 40% among 80-year-old women. Medical advances aimed at slowing or arresting bone loss from aging have not provided solutions to this problem. Further, the affected population will grow steadily as life expectancy increases. Osteoporosis affects the entire skeleton but most commonly causes fractures in the spine and hip. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, with patients suffering from loss of height, deformity and persistent pain which can significantly impair mobility and quality of life. Fracture pain usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks, with intense pain at the fracture site. Chronic pain often occurs when one level is greatly collapsed or multiple levels are collapsed.
Postmenopausal women are predisposed to fractures, such as in the vertebrae, due to a decrease in bone mineral density that accompanies postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a pathologic state that literally means “porous bones”. Skeletal bones are made up of a thick cortical shell and a strong inner meshwork, or cancellous bone, of collagen, calcium salts and other minerals. Cancellous bone is similar to a honeycomb, with blood vessels and bone marrow in the spaces. Osteoporosis describes a condition of decreased bone mass that leads to fragile bones which are at an increased risk for fractures. In an osteoporotic bone, the sponge-like cancellous bone has pores or voids that increase in dimension, making the bone very fragile. In young, healthy bone tissue, bone breakdown occurs continually as the result of osteoclast activity, but the breakdown is balanced by new bone formation by osteoblasts. In an elderly patient, bone resorption can surpass bone formation thus resulting in deterioration of bone density. Osteoporosis occurs largely without symptoms until a fracture occurs.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are recently developed techniques for treating vertebral compression fractures. Percutaneous vertebroplasty was first reported by a French group in 1987 for the treatment of painful hemangiomas. In the 1990's, percutaneous vertebroplasty was extended to indications including osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, traumatic compression fractures, and painful vertebral metastasis. In one percutaneous vertebroplasty technique, bone cement such as PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) is percutaneously injected into a fractured vertebral body via a trocar and cannula system. The targeted vertebrae are identified under fluoroscopy. A needle is introduced into the vertebral body under fluoroscopic control to allow direct visualization. A transpedicular (through the pedicle of the vertebrae) approach is typically bilateral but can be done unilaterally. The bilateral transpedicular approach is typically used because inadequate PMMA infill is achieved with a unilateral approach.
In a bilateral approach, approximately 1 to 4 ml of PMMA are injected on each side of the vertebra. Since the PMMA needs to be forced into cancellous bone, the technique requires high pressures and fairly low viscosity cement. Since the cortical bone of the targeted vertebra may have a recent fracture, there is the potential of PMMA leakage. The PMMA cement contains radiopaque materials so that when injected under live fluoroscopy, cement localization and leakage can be observed. The visualization of PMMA injection and extravasion are critical to the technique and the physician terminates PMMA injection when leakage is evident. The cement is injected using small syringe-like injectors to allow the physician to manually control the injection pressures.
Kyphoplasty is a modification of percutaneous vertebroplasty. Kyphoplasty involves a preliminary step that comprises the percutaneous placement of an inflatable balloon tamp in the vertebral body. Inflation of the balloon creates a cavity in the bone prior to cement injection. Further, the proponents of percutaneous kyphoplasty have suggested that high pressure balloon-tamp inflation can at least partially restore vertebral body height. In kyphoplasty, it has been proposed that PMMA can be injected at lower pressures into the collapsed vertebra since a cavity exists to receive the cement—which is not the case in conventional vertebroplasty.
The principal indications for any form of vertebroplasty are osteoporotic vertebral collapse with debilitating pain. Radiography and computed tomography must be performed in the days preceding treatment to determine the extent of vertebral collapse, the presence of epidural or foraminal stenosis caused by bone fragment retropulsion, the presence of cortical destruction or fracture and the visibility and degree of involvement of the pedicles. Leakage of PMMA during vertebroplasty can result in very serious complications including compression of adjacent structures that necessitate emergency decompressive surgery.
Leakage or extravasion of PMMA is a critical issue and can be divided into paravertebral leakage, venous infiltration, epidural leakage and intradiscal leakage. The exothermic reaction of PMMA carries potential catastrophic consequences if thermal damage were to extend to the dural sac, cord, and nerve roots. Surgical evacuation of leaked cement in the spinal canal has been reported. It has been found that leakage of PMMA is related to various clinical factors such as the vertebral compression pattern, and the extent of the cortical fracture, bone mineral density, the interval from injury to operation, the amount of PMMA injected and the location of the injector tip. In one recent study, close to 50% of vertebroplasty cases resulted in leakage of PMMA from the vertebral bodies. See Hyun-Woo Do et al, “The Analysis of Polymethylmethacrylate Leakage after Vertebroplasty for Vertebral Body Compression Fractures”, Jour. of Korean Neurosurg. Soc. Vol. 35, No. 5 (May 2004) pp. 478-82, (http://www.jkns.or.kr/htm/abstract.asp?no=0042004086).
Another recent study was directed to the incidence of new VCFs adjacent to the vertebral bodies that were initially treated. Vertebroplasty patients often return with new pain caused by a new vertebral body fracture. Leakage of cement into an adjacent disc space during vertebroplasty increases the risk of a new fracture of adjacent vertebral bodies. See Am. J. Neuroradiol. 2004 February; 25(2):175-80. The study found that 58% of vertebral bodies adjacent to a disc with cement leakage fractured during the follow-up period compared with 12% of vertebral bodies adjacent to a disc without cement leakage.
Another life-threatening complication of vertebroplasty is pulmonary embolism. See Bernhard, J. et al., “Asymptomatic diffuse pulmonary embolism caused by acrylic cement: an unusual complication of percutaneous vertebroplasty”, Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2003; 62:85-86. The vapors from PMMA preparation and injection are also cause for concern. See Kirby, B., et al., “Acute bronchospasm due to exposure to polymethylmethacrylate vapors during percutaneous vertebroplasty”, Am. J. Roentgenol. 2003; 180:543-544.
Another disadvantage of PMMA is its inability to undergo remodeling—and the inability to use the PMMA to deliver osteoinductive agents, growth factors, chemotherapeutic agents and the like. Yet another disadvantage of PMMA is the need to add radiopaque agents which lower its viscosity with unclear consequences on its long-term endurance.
In both higher pressure cement injection (vertebroplasty) and balloon-tamped cementing procedures (kyphoplasty), the methods do not provide for well controlled augmentation of vertebral body height. The direct injection of bone cement simply follows the path of least resistance within the fractured bone. The expansion of a balloon also applies compacting forces along lines of least resistance in the collapsed cancellous bone. Thus, the reduction of a vertebral compression fracture is not optimized or controlled in high pressure balloons as forces of balloon expansion occur in multiple directions.
In a kyphoplasty procedure, the physician often uses very high pressures (e.g., up to 200 or 300 psi) to inflate the balloon which first crushes and compacts cancellous bone. Expansion of the balloon under high pressures close to cortical bone can fracture the cortical bone, or cause regional damage to the cortical bone that can result in cortical bone necrosis. Such cortical bone damage is highly undesirable and results in weakened cortical endplates.
Kyphoplasty also does not provide a distraction mechanism capable of 100% vertebral height restoration. Further, the kyphoplasty balloons under very high pressure typically apply forces to vertebral endplates within a central region of the cortical bone that may be weak, rather than distributing forces over the endplate.
There is a general need to provide systems and methods for use in treatment of vertebral compression fractures that provide a greater degree of control over introduction of bone support material, and that provide better outcomes. Embodiments of the present invention meet one or more of the above needs, or other needs, and provide several other advantages in a novel and non-obvious manner.
The invention provides systems and method of treating bone abnormalities including vertebral compression fractures, bone tumors and cysts, avascular necrosis of the femoral head and the like. In one embodiment, the invention comprises a bone infill system or implant system with a fill material that includes a flowable component and an elastomeric polymer component that is deformable in-situ (
In the following detailed description, similar reference numerals are used to depict like elements in the various figures.
In general, an exemplary method corresponding to the invention for treating mammalian bone comprises the following: (a) flowing an initial volume of flowable media into the interior of a bone wherein the media includes a volume of elastomeric elements, and (b) flowing under pressure increasing volumes of the flowable media wherein injection pressures causes a differential apparent viscosity within selected regions across the flowable media. The method further includes causing surface regions 20 of the plume 18 of flowable media to be substantially impermeable to flows therethrough (
In another embodiment, the fill material 4 described above includes an elastomer filler composite 6 that carries microscale or mesoscale reticulated elements 10B (
In any embodiment, elastomer composite elements 6 can carry radiosensitive and magnetic-sensitive fillers for cooperating with an RF source or an inductive heating source for elevating the polymer to a targeted temperature. Alternatively, the polymeric composition can be substantially transparent or substantially translucent and carry chromophores for cooperating with a light source introduced with the material for heating to material to a selected temperature for increasing the modulus of the material. Thus, such methods of heating surface regions 20 (
The reticulated structures 10B as in
Referring back to
In another embodiment depicted in
The above-described embodiments describe elastomer composites that cooperate with fill materials to control properties of the interface between fill material and bone. The scope of the invention extends to elastomer composites as in
In any embodiment, the fill materials or implants can further carry a radiopaque or radiovisible composition if the material of the reticulated elements is not radiovisible.
In any embodiment, the fill materials or implants can carry any pharmacological agent or any of the following: antibiotics, cortical bone material, synthetic cortical replacement material, demineralized bone material, autograft and allograft materials. The implant body also can include drugs and agents for inducing bone growth, such as bone morphogenic protein (BMP). The implants can carry the pharmacological agents for immediate or timed release.
The above description of the invention intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive. A number of variations and alternatives will be apparent to one having ordinary skills in the art. Such alternatives and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the claims. Particular features that are presented in dependent claims can be combined and fall within the scope of the invention. The invention also encompasses embodiments as if dependent claims were alternatively written in a multiple dependent claim format with reference to other independent claims.