Alphatec Holdings has introduced their minimally invasive BRIDGEPOINT spinous process fixation system, designed to immobilise and stabilise spinal segments without the need for pedicle screw and rod constructs.

The BridgePoint system, which is implanted through a small posterior incision of about 5 cm in length, is intended to be used as an adjunct to interbody fusion or posterior fusion to treat disorders resulting from degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, tumours and trauma.

The new system features telescopic plates, enabling surgeons to compress or distract the spinous processes before immobilising the spinal segment.

Its large contact area provides a strong anchor point to each spinous process, facilitating compression or distraction and stability during the fusion process.

The system’s large bone graft window enables surgeons to pack additional bone graft between the spinous processes, according to the company.

Alphatec Spine chairman and CEO Les Cross said; "We believe BridgePoint offers unique benefits that deliver real value to surgeons and hospitals, helping patients who suffer chronic back pain regain their active lifestyles."

Cheyenne Regional Medical Centre neurological surgeon Dr Steven Beer said BridgePoint has the ability to less-invasively treat degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.

"BridgePoint allows me to fixate the spine more efficiently than competitive systems and the device makes surgery safer and faster," Beer said.

The company expects the market for spinous process fixation devices to touch $206m by 2016, which it says has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 24% since 2008.