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      New technique for spinal surgery

      It's called the Lateral Locking Cage, or LLC, and it's the first FDA approval Frontier Medical Devices received.

      LLC is a new device for patients needing some sort of spinal fusion.

      The man behind the vision, Dr. Matthew Songer, says it's a less invasive procedure.

      "You actually go from one side, and you're able to access the spine through what we call a lateral approach. So with the instrument, you have to go through a little hole; in fact, we make a small incision about an inch, inch-and-a-half long. You have long instruments, you go down, and you work through a small hole to get to the spine," said Songer.

      The way it works is a cage is inserted as spacer between vertebras. Afterward, a bulb-type keel plate locks both the vertebras above and below to the cage.

      Dr. Songer says the procedure can be done in about two hours, and patients can recover faster.

      Not only do patients benefit from the new device, but it also means company growth. Frontier Medical Devices was formed a little over two years ago with a staff of 12, working vigorously to bring the new design to life.

      Chief Financial Advisor, John Sonderegger, says once the design gets picked up by a distributor, the company will grow to about 50 employees.

      "We anticipate a good number of future hires will be coming from the local community, both college graduates and non-college graduates," said Sonderegger.

      They hope to start providing the procedure to patients by the end of November.