Wiltse in the news

succeeded in performing spinal fusion by inserting bone cement through disc space

DATE. 2015.10.05

Wiltse Memorial Hospital succeeded in performing spinal fusion by inserting bone cement through disc space

A new spinal surgery for elderly patients with osteoporosis has been developed.


Wiltse Memorial Hospital, a spine specialized hospital designated by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs (President Park Choon-keun) reported that Dr. Lee Dong-keun, Director of the Spine Center designed a new technique of performing spinal fusion by inserting bone cement through disc space and had the results published in an international academic journal.


Severe spinal stenosis and disc herniation require the removal of a large amount of bones and joints and fusion fixing with screws during therapeutic surgery. However, it is difficult to fix screws into weakened bones due to osteoporosis. Therefore, inserting bone cement into the body of the bone may be needed in order to support the fixing and fusion.


There are two ways to insert bone cement. The first one involves inserting bone cement into the bone first, inserting percutaneous pedicle screws into the bone, and connecting rods to support the end of the screws. This may help reduce the duration of the surgery. On the other hand, there is risk that the rods may not be able to be connected or that the screws become lose or twisted upon being connected to the rods.


The other technique involves inserting the bone cement into the bone after fusion. It is safe but takes a longer time. As a result of endeavors to supplement it, Dr. Lee tried to insert bone cement through a disc space for the first time in the world and succeeded.


The new technique is a modification of the second method, made possible by inserting a biopsy needle into the disc space through the incision and then infusing bone cement. Safety can be increased by minimal invasion and bleeding and by reducing the overall operation time. The results were reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, which is one of the major international academic journals listed on SCI.


Dr. Lee, a neurosurgeon, received the Best Article Award at the last “Korean Neurosurgical Society 29th International Conference” and has rigorously reported articles in various international conferences including ASIA SPINE.


In addition, over the last 13 years, a total of 202 research articles were reported from Wiltse Memorial Hospital, including 9 that were published in internationally respected SCI(E) journals.