Severe scoliosis, left untreated, leads to significant spinal deformity resulting in pain and damage to internal organs. It is caused by an abnormal development of the bones of the spine and nearly always requires surgery. The surgical treatment for scoliosis begins in our shop in Wheeling, IL.
Our work starts with the spinal hooks, bone screws, and implants that must be made with body-friendly, but often difficult to machine materials. Before bones in the spinal column are attached to a titanium rod, the precision parts needed for that procedure must be perfectly machined to exacting specifications. The surgeon doesn’t know how the pedicle hook in his hand came to be exactly the right size and shape, but it’s not his job to worry about that. It’s ours.
There aren’t many industries where perfection can be the difference between life and death but precision machining is one of them. Over the course of the last century, medical advances have had a large part in doubling the lifespan of the average United States citizen. A life of chronic pain is no longer inevitable with certain conditions. Even something as simple as replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant improves the patient’s quality of life for the long-term.
At SPM, we are justifiably proud of our state-of-the-art equipment, especially the Willemin 408 MT machining centers. But it’s never just about owning a magnificent machine. It’s about what the machine can do for our fellow human beings.
The Willemin is a workhorse. We use it to manufacture implants and abutments for the dental industry, acetabular cups, femoral stems, and tibial base plates for orthopedic surgeons, and bone plates, bone screws, and surgical forceps for general surgery.
It’s hard to imagine life before oral surgery became safe and accessible. We’ve come a long way from wooden teeth to dental implants. There are many reasons why someone might lose a tooth. When that happens, it can change the shape of the jaw over time, making it difficult to chew and swallow, and can lead to health issues such as vascular disease. Dental implants are long-lasting and won’t decay. We manufacture the implants and abutments necessary for this procedure.
For complex bone fractures, it’s often more desirable to repair the fracture with internal fixation, where the doctor internally sets and stabilizes the bones.
During this procedure, the broken bone is “re-set” into its normal alignment and held together with implants, such as plates, screws, and nails. The surgery reduces the incidence of the bone healing incorrectly. The procedure is often minimally invasive which results in shorter hospital stays and less trauma to the injury. Our precision parts enable this surgery to be successful.
In addition to scoliosis, spinal fusion surgeries are performed for a variety of back problems. The precision parts such as bone plates, bone screws, and spinal hooks must be manufactured to very tight specifications from materials such as titanium, chrome-cobalt, or stainless steel. These materials are tough and resistant to corrosion, which also makes them difficult to machine. They must have a perfect surface finish and high 3-dimensional accuracy. Our Willemins accomplish this without breaking a sweat.
Have you ever wondered how precision parts for surgical use get to be so perfectly manufactured that nobody thinks about it anymore? Maybe not, but we do. In fact, we obsess about it and it’s why we own three Willemin 408 MT machining centers. It’s one of the ways we supply our customers with the life-saving medical parts they need.