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TranS1: Changing the Approach to Spine Fusion

In order to treat spine disorders in the least invasive way possible, TranS1 creates a different approach. With 15-30% of the U.S. population experiencing lower back disorders, there is a need to treat the underlying conditions in the most effective way possible. Disc degeneration is most often the cause of this discomfort, and current treatment usually calls for the complete removal of the disc and the fusion of the vertebrae.

When it comes to spine fusion, TranS1 offers a system that allows doctors to perform lumbar fusion without damage to the annulus and paraspinal soft tissue structures. The Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion (Trans1 AxiaLIF) process allows doctors access to the L5-S1 vertabral bodies in an outpatient procedure. This is possible through the Cragg Spinal Access Approach. By utilizing the approach, TranS1 allows for spine fusion without damaging additional discs and ligaments.

When a disc has degenerated, the result is extreme pain for the patient. The TranS1 technique allows for the damaged disc to be removed with only a small incision. Previous approaches to this process required surgeons to cut through numerous muscles and nerves to reach the disc space. This procedure requires only a one-inch incision near the coccyx and avoids the need to damage other tissues. A device is inserted to create access. A blunt probe is then used as a guide for a drill that creates access to the disc space. The damaged disc is removed, and a screw is inserted to make the spine fusion complete.

The TranS1 approach derives its name from the fact that it can only be used at the L5-S1 spinal segment. It may be indicated in cases where there is degenerative disc disease with or without radicular symptoms, spondylolisthesis, or an unsuccessful earlier spine fusion.

As a result of the approach, the TranS1 spine fusion procedure will typically take less than an hour to perform. The traditional surgery for this type of procedure would usually take approximately four times as long. Patients are generally released from the hospital after only one day, and they are able to return to work an average of 15 days later. Other advantages of such a minimally invasive procedure include less blood loss, nerve retraction, and external scarring. Rehabilitation time is also decreased significantly.



Kathryn Wagner, MD

Dr. Kathryn Wagner grew up in South Texas. Since 1995, when she completed her medical training, she has had a private practice in San Antonio. Recently, a new office facility has been opened by Dr. Wagner at the historic Nix Health Care System downtown located on the fourteenth floor. In 1991, she was licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. In 1999, Dr. Wagner was Board Certified by the American College of Surgeons. Kathryn Wagner is married and is raising three children. She enjoys scuba diving, swimming, and wine tasting.
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