Complication from spinal product omitted from studies, reasearches have financial ties to product's producer

Sunday, June 12, 2011 by: Neev M. Arnell
Tags: Medtronic, male sterility, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
(NaturalNews) In a study released Wednesday, a Stanford University surgeon said that one of Medtronic's best-selling spinal products can cause a condition which results in male sterility. The finding contradicts earlier research by doctors with financial ties to Medtronic, who did not find a connection between Infuse, the spinal product, and sterility. (

According to a study, men treated with Medtronic's Infuse product during spine surgery were more likely to develop a particular infertility problem than those who did not get the product. Editorials questioned why the issue was not examined more in the Medtronic-funded studies.

The Stanford surgeon, Dr. Eugene J. Carragee, said he decided to study Infuse based on a complaint he received from an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Tomislav Smoljanovic of Croatia, stated some problems with the product in an article related to the product.

Smoljanovic noted that, while identifying that six men in the Meditronic-sponsored study had developed the sterility-related condition, the researchers had not identified how many of those men had received Infuse as opposed to the bone graft used in a standard procedure.

Carragee's deeper look at the original study led him to question why the researchers had not broken out the patients in their study into those who received Infuse and those who did not, which, he said, is the standard way to present clinical trial results.

Thomas Zdeblick, a participant in the key Medtronic-funded study and director of the University of Wisconsin Spine Center, said there was no attempt to hide data on this issue from the original trial, but rather, there weren't enough numbers to reach statistical significance, "and the issue was left without a conclusion." (

Carragee said that among the 69 men he treated with Infuse, 7.2 percent suffered from retrograde ejaculation compared to less than 1% of the 174 patients who did not get the product. Carragee said that he and his colleagues posted their study online, ahead of the print version, because of these public health implications.

"In my opinion, it is important that men who are considering having children have the opportunity to weigh the risks of the various available procedures so that they can make their best-informed decision," Carragee said in a press release from the North American Spine Society, which is the association for spinal surgeons that publishes the medical journal.

The new study will likely further inflame the debate over whether industry-financed researchers present their findings in ways that benefit their corporate sponsors.

Six of the Medtronic study co-authors received a total of more than $6 million in various royalties from Medtronic, although none of the royalties were for Infuse. (

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel released the following records from a public registry of physician payments maintained by Medtronic:

Ken Burkus, a Columbus, Ga., surgeon, and his RBCK Research & Consulting received $782,000 in various royalty payments from Medtronic in 2010. He is a co-author of all four of the papers on Infuse.

Thomas A. Zdeblick, a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health orthopedic surgeon who, along with Taz Consulting, has received more than $23million in various royalty payments from Medtronic since 2002, was co-author of three of the papers. He is also the editor-in-chief of the journal where two of the papers were published.

Matthew Gornet, a St. Louis surgeon, and Gornet Enterprises got $755,000 in royalty payments last year.

Rick Sasso, an orthopedic surgeon with the Indiana Spine Group and co-author of one of the papers, got $2.7 million in various royalties from Medtronic last year.

Thomas Kleeman, a New Hampshire surgeon, co-authored one of the papers. He received between $106,000 and $111,000 in royalties and other payments last year.

Curtis Dickman, a Phoenix surgeon, co-authored one of the papers. Dickman and his Vantage Investments LLC got $389,000 in royalties last year.

Sources for this story include:

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Medtronic at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.