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This document was distributed in 1999 as a 2-page flyer to an insurance investigator who e-mailed a request for more information through the VAT-Tech Web site. The FDA's 510K clearance to market the device does not permit the manufacturer to represent that VAX-D therapy "reduces intradiscal pressure" or is different from or superior to ordinary traction.
Question: Why don't you compare VAX-D to modalities such as PT, electric stimulation, traction, etc.?
Answer: VAX-D is not a modality. It is a medical procedure (see CPT code 97532) whose treatment is directed to the disc. We do not purport to treat ligaments, muscle or soft tissue, although they may be secondarily affected. A review of the literature does not support any notion that the modalities above affect the disc. Therefore a comparison of the aforementioned with VAX-D is scientifically unsound. We would be comparing apples to oranges, and any conclusions would be suspect. If comparisons are to be made, they should be made with procedures that claim to affect the disc.
Question: Address the advantages of the VAX-D when compared to various surgeries.
Answer: Surgery, regardless of the type, is a destructive process to the disc. The obliteration of disc tissue require the annulus to accept more of the spinal load. This, in turn, sets the stage for future disc failure. This could be the reason that patients who have had a surgical procedure on the spine have a nine-fold incidence of having another one in the future when compared to patients who have not had back surgery. Additionally, facet joints also accept more spinal load and are subject to developing changes; these changes can result in encroachment of the spinal canal and symptomatic spinal stenosis.
VAX-D treatment reduces intradiscal pressure which may benefit the disc, biomechanically and metabolically. This is an area for future investigation.
Question: What is the difference between VAX-D and traction?
Answer: The answer to this question is function. Cognetically, the VAX-D. resembles conventional traction tables, and they both distract the spine. All similarities end here. The VAX-D decompresses the disc by reducing intradiscal pressures. The study published by Ramos and Martin in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Sept. 1994, demonstrated that VAX-D reduces intradiscal pressures to as low as a -150 mmHg. Studies published on conventional traction demonstrate that intradiscal pressures are not significantly reduced and in some instances were elevated during distraction. As a result, the relative value (in the RVP) is higher for the VAX-D than traction.
Question: But both distract the spine, I don't understand why one reduces intradiscal pressure and the other doesn't
Answer: Dr. Dyer researched this for six years, and with the help of engineers, they found the answer to this dilemma. This answer is in the Time-Energy Distraction Curve. The curve for VAX-D is unlike any other Time-Energy curve. The differences in the curve allow for paravertebral muscle relaxation to occur with the VAX-D. Any contraction of the spinal musculature will elevate intradiscal pressure. The VAX-D via the Programmable Logic Computer (PLC), continuously monitors the distraction force from moment to moment, thereby producing the desired Time-Energy curve. This curve has been expressed mathematically. Other features engineered into the VAX-D facilitate this process.
Question: Give me an analogy.
Answer: Compare conventional x-rays to a CT scan. Both take a picture, both utilize ionizing radiation, and both capture the image on film. Similarities end here. The CT sc an provides a computerized image. The CT scan is unquestionably more sophisticated than conventional x-ray, functions differently, and the end product is different. This is reflected in the relative values between the two; hence, the CT is reimbursed at a higher level. For the same reason, VAX-D has a higher relative value when compared to traction. (see RVP-Relative Value for Physicians)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE VAX-D TREATMENT, PLEASE CALL (877) 565-VAX-D (8293) OR (214) 515-9425/FAX (214) 515-0014
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This page was posted on May 15, 2000.