Charlotte Neurosurgeons Perform Historic Spinal Cord Surgery
Second-Ever Implantation Of Neuro-Spinal Scaffold Performed Related To Spinal Cord Injuries

On January 20, 2015, Neurosurgeons Dom Coric, MD, and John Ziewacz, MD, of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates in Charlotte, NC, performed the second-ever implantation of a Neuro-Spinal Scaffold in a patient with complete traumatic spinal cord injury. The surgical procedure is part of a pilot clinical research study evaluating the safety, feasibility, and preliminary effectiveness of the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold device which may some day lead to the recovery of devastating spinal cord injuries. 

“Currently, there is very limited therapy available for patients with spinal cord damage,” said Dr. Coric. “This investigational study sets the stage for treatments down the road that could aid in recovery for these patients. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates is proud to be involved in the early stages of this much-needed research related to spinal cord damage.” Dr. Coric is the co-principal investigator in the study, which is being conducted by InVivo Therapeutics. 

The Neuro-Spinal Scaffold is a highly porous, polymeric cylinder. It has been demonstrated to spare spinal cord tissue, decrease post-traumatic cyst formation, and decrease spinal cord tissue pressure in preclinical models of spinal cord contusion injury. During the procedure, the Scaffold is placed into the center of the damaged part of the spinal cord. It is biodegradable and designed to be absorbed by the body over the course of six to 12 weeks, much like surgical sutures. The Neuro-Spinal Scaffold is investigational and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at this time. 

This Neuro-Spinal Scaffold study is one of seven spine-related clinical trials currently underway at Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Over the past 15 years, the practice has participated in over 40 clinical trials related to spine, brain and vascular disorders. 

“Our goal is to provide patients with cutting-edge treatment that can make a difference now and in the future,” said Peggy Boltes, RN, OCN, CCRP, clinical research manager for the practice.
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