Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Troy Drewry

Second Advisor

Dwight Waddell

Third Advisor

Thomas Werfel

Relational Format



Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a form of neck surgery that is performed to remove a damaged disc in the spine. Without intervention damaged discs in the spine cause a buildup of spinal cord or nerve root pressure which can lead to several unpleasant side effects. The current methods and devices through which this surgery is carried out can be potentially problematic for both the surgeon and the patient. Oftentimes surgeons have difficulty aligning the cervical plate typically used in ACDF surgeries. In many cases, these problems are unavoidable. It is for this reason that a group of biomedical engineering students has developed a device and implementation technique which prevents the existing problems from occurring. Our design and implementation methods allow for simple implantation which will significantly decrease the frequency and severity of plate misalignment. This includes utilizing a two-piece impactor, a keyed sleeve which fits around the impactor, and a keyed fusion plate which fits around the sleeve. The use of our system during ACDF procedures will ensure perfect alignment of fusion plates be it a single level procedure or multi-level procedures. Our device and instruments will come with detailed instructions and diagrams.

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