So after someone on one of my friends list posted some things about the spinal issues they were having I did some quick looking and watched some spinal surgery videos. (Including on correcting scoliosis using metal screws and rods.)
And I came up with an idea that I don’t know if it will work or not but I want to put out here just to get it out in the universe.
1) Take super accurate measurements of a person’s spine through whatever means.
2) Put those measurements into a 3D modeling program.
3) Use the 3D modeling program to construct a shell that is an exact fit over the spinal pieces. (Likely it will be several pieces.)
3a) The design of said pieces would be such that they would have thin clamps that would fit around the “bands” of each joint. Think of it as if a four-armed metal starfish wrapped itself around the back of each piece of the spine the legs overlapping to lock with a screw off to one side.
3b) Now imagine that the “starfish” has a small half-cylinder on the back of it with a hole in it so the original spinal ridge comes through and is captured by the “starfish”. The half-cylinder has medical plastic at each end to reduce wear between pieces and provide support.
4) Send the 3D shell construct to a sintering metal 3D printer to produce a stainless steel part.
5) Do final milling/cleanup on each of the parts and attach the plastic pieces with either medical adhesive or small screws. (Likely the adhesive is better.)
6) Install starting from the center of the spine outward in both directions. (This will require doing the same sort of hollowing of the spinal spaces as in the scoliosis video I saw.)
Thinking about the design if the starfish legs can be made to go all the way around the spine and provide some support on the other side then it would boost the strength of the spine as well as reduce wear and tear on the existing spinal bone.
Anyway it’s just an idea. If anybody has some deep insight as to why this isn’t medically possible please let me know. Also please pass this on to any spinal professionals you might know just in case it sparks someone else to come up with a solution.