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Riverview surgeon invents new spinal device

06-18-2019

An orthopedic surgeon at Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden has invented a new medical device that makes spinal fusions easier and customizable for each individual patient.

Dr. Dusty Smith’s Sagittae device was cleared by the FDA last year and has since been used on at least three patients in Gadsden.

The Sagittae is a lateral lumbar interbody fusion device — or, in simpler terms, a device used to support vertebrae in the spine when the discs between them have become degenerative.

The small metal device uses a unique design to allow it to be adjusted after it is placed in between the vertebrae, either by tilting or changing the height.

“Nothing else is dynamic like this,” Smith said.

The gadget almost resembles a miniaturized animal trap, with toothed edges and a pair of screws on the end. The teeth, however, are only there to provide tracks for the screws to fit into as they are adjusted to change the height and angle of the piece.

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