Scoliosis. It’s a disease characterized by abnormal curvatures in the spine. Nearly three out of every 100 people have some form of it. Worldwide, it affects more than 12 million.
Most who have the condition live relatively normal lives, minus the occasional extra doctor’s appointment. But for some, the curvature of the spine is so severe that it requires a fusion, which is an extensive and often risky surgery that few surgeons in America specialize in.
In the future, though, there may be another option. MBA graduate Joe Reynolds built a company, SpineForm, around a new medical device that corrects spinal curvatures without the risks that a fusion poses. Fusion requires connecting metal rods to both sides of the spinal column. Reynold’s device, called HemiBridge, is a series of implants that correct severe cases of scoliosis by putting pressure on the outward side of the curve.
“Fusion creates a whole segment of the spine that doesn’t move or bend,” Reynolds says. “Our device allows the growth of the spine to correct itself, without disc removal, bone grafts or a lengthy hospital stay.”
The device underwent its first clinical trials last year, yielding positive results. The company’s now planning to introduce the device in Europe and eventually worldwide.