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Who Should Get Credit for Spinal Implant Success?

Here's a nice article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about an implanted prosthesis that treats the painful symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis. Before the X-Stop prosthesis got FDA approval in November, the standard of care was steroid injections, which are wrought with potential side effects. What's not so nice about the article is that it makes no mention of the device's manufacturer. (It's St. Francis Medical Technologies Inc.

of Alameda, CA.) It's understandable for a newspaper to focus on the surgeon, patient, and hospital, as those are details its readers would want to know. But none of this would have happened without the R&D efforts of St. Francis. If the mainstream media is so quick to idenitify companies when they are accused of misconduct, it should be equally quick to identify them when they are responsible for medical breakthroughs. It's only fair.

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