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Medtronic Introduces Innovative Procedure for Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Oct. 24, 2012 – Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) the world leader in spinal technology, announced today an innovative approach to minimally invasive spinal fusion at the 27th annual meeting of the North American Spine Society in Dallas, TX.

The OLIF25™Procedure allows for psoas preserving access to the L2-L5 levels and incorporates Medtronic’s comprehensive surgical platform of access, interbody, neuromonitoring, navigation, fixation and biologic options.  Referred to as Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion for L2-L5, this procedure leverages traditional ALIF principles with the in-situ convenience of the less invasive lateral approach.  Utilizing an oblique lateral trajectory away from the posterior nerves within the psoas muscle, this procedure is an alternative to approaches dependent on neuromonitoring to traverse the psoas muscle.   In addition, the OLIF25™procedure allows for easier access around the iliac crest at L4-L5, and it is a step towards more reproducible lateral access to the L5-S1 disc space. *

“The OLIF25™ Procedure combines the advantages of the historical open retroperitoneal approach to the anterior spine with the minimally invasive access benefits from more recent lateral techniques,” said Dr. Richard Hynes, spine surgeon at The B.A.C.K. Center in Melbourne, FL. “By utilizing an oblique lateral approach to the spine, this procedure enables placement of a large interbody graft into the disc space for anterior column support and segmental sagittal alignment while minimizing the nerve, muscle, and bone obstacles associated with traditional direct lateral approaches.”

The OLIF25™Procedure may also be used with Medtronic’s surgical navigation and imaging systems.  This allows for decreased exposure to radiation for hospital staff and physicians, and provides intraoperative assessment of the approach and device placement.

The OLIF25™ Procedure is the latest advancement in a series of integrated procedural solutions that compliments Medtronic Spinal’s minimally invasive MAST® portfolio to successfully treat patients for a variety of degenerative and deformity spinal conditions. In the United States, over 250,000 individuals undergo spinal fusions annually to treat degenerative changes in the lumbar spine.

About Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery vs. Traditional Open-Back Surgery

  • Minimally invasive surgery requires a smaller incision than traditional open-back surgery, leaving patients with smaller scars. 
  • Minimally invasive surgery has been reported to minimize cutting to muscles, tendons, and other normal tissues that aren’t directly involved with the back disorders.1
  • One of the risks associated with MIS is the possibility of converting to an open procedure. 

* Preoperative planning should be used to determine the location of anterior vasculature, the iliac crest, and the surgical trajectory to determine the appropriateness of this technique at the L5-S1 disc space.

About Medtronic’s Spinal Business
Medtronic’s spinal business, based in Memphis, Tenn., is the global leader in today’s spine market and is committed to advancing the treatment of spinal conditions. Medtronic’s spinal business collaborates with world-renowned surgeons, researchers and innovative partners to offer state-of-the-art therapies for spinal, neurological, orthopaedic and oral maxillofacial conditions. Medtronic is committed to developing affordable, minimally invasive procedures that provide lifestyle friendly surgical therapies.

About Spinal Navigation and Intra-Operative Imaging
The O-arm® Imaging System coupled with the StealthStation® Image Guidance System can also be used to navigate pedicle preparation and screw placement. Together, O-arm® intra-operative imaging and StealthStation® surgical navigation form a unique Medtronic surgical tool, enabling more accurate spinal procedures in a reduced radiation environment for the surgeon and staff.  For more information, please visit:

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.


1 Isaacs. Minimally invasive microendoscopy-assisted transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. J. Neruosurg: Spine. 3:98-105, 2005.

Medtronic Media Contacts:
Victor Rocha, Public Relations, 901-399-2401
Jeff Warren, Investor Relations, 763-505-2696