Modern Grinding attended the North American Spine Surgery annual convention in New Orleans and learned a lot about how our Nitinol K-Wires are used in surgery. We manufacture K-Wires for over 20 spine medical device companies who were displaying at the convention. Prior to attending the convention, I was under the impression that the K-Wires we manufacture were used as an implanted fixation device in the spine. I was wrong.
In the spinal medical device community, Modern Grinding K-Wires are used as “guidewires” in MIS fusion systems. The doctors use nitinol wires because they are flexible, strong, and small such that they are easy to navigate to the bone which is being operated on. After the K-Wire is guided to the correct location. A cancellous screw or cannulated screw is placed over the k-wire and screwed into the bone and a plate. Once screwed into place, the K-wire is removed and the screw is implanted for longer term use. In minimally invasive surgery, less of a footprint is opened up for surgery.
One medical device R&D researcher asked me how many of our nitinol K-Wires have threads and why device designers use thread in K-Wires as apposed to just having a product they could hammer into the bone. I can’t really answer that, I am not the designer. About 80% of our nitinol K-Wires have threads vs. a much smaller percentage of our Stainless Steel wires have threads. My guess is that the thread enables the K-Wire to maintain a stronger hold in the bone while the screw is placed over it.
We really enjoyed the convention and all of the companies we had a chance to speak with. If you are a MIS spine fusion researcher or engineer don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about our nitinol K-Wires. We are getting more and more requests and consider ourselves to be one of the leaders in this field. We look forward to helping with your next project!