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On The Horizon for Cervical Spine Anomalies in Children

  • Newer instrumentation:  Posterior occipitocervical and anterior cervical instrumentation specifically sized and formed for pediatric use is available, but most surgeons prefer using standard adult-sized spinal instrumentation for children as young as about 4 years of age. Hybrid constructs made of a combination of bioabsorbable and permanent materials may be a potential solution for the future.
  • Biologics:  Rapid advances in bone biological fusion adjuncts are being made.  Results from allograft and bone morphogenetic protein fusions may reach a point where autografts may no longer be required.
  • Closed surgery:  Rapidly acting biologics delivered to strategic anatomic locations such as joint capsules or facets may someday replace open surgery.