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.