An invention pioneered by a Worcestershire medical manufacturer is making massive inroads into the American market.
Surgeons in the US have undertaken spinal reconstructive surgery using a polymer implant developed by Redditch-based Surgicraft.
The company, which employs 25 people, has just launched the Stalif, which is made of a type of polymer that mimics the biomechanical characteristics of bone.
The device, which took 18 months to develop, minimises the number of times invasive surgery has to be carried out to help relieve people's back pains.
The material is much more elastic than metal, so it can absorb energy and handle the human body weight.
Now it is hoping for a number of orders for the Stalif, which is used for the treatment of back pain, believed to be the number one medical complaint in the western world.
Managing director Peter Dines said: "Often, when back operations are performed, surgeons go through the stomach.
"But there is often a need for a second operation to stabilise the discs. This device means you only have to perform one operation."
Mr Dines said the Stalif acted like a belt and braces to help the discs knit together.
The device was previously made from titanium, but the new polymer version offered major advantages, he added.
"It has similar biomechanical properties to the bones, which means it helps with the fusion, while it also does not show up on x-rays."
The device is being used by US doctors after passing clinical trials.
Mr Dines said: "So far we have have a good uptake for it in America, and we are on course for $13 million of sales this year.
"For a company which has a turnover of £3.5 million a year that is very significant."
Surgicraft received external expertise funded by Advantage West Midlands to diversify from a precision engineering company specialising in designing jigs and fixtures in order to successfully produce the implant.
The company has a long tradition of developing medical devices in the spinal, orthopaedic and obstetric medical device sector.
Mr Dines said: "We will continue to work with surgeons to develop new products in the future.
"Surgicraft, for the past three years has been following a strategy of developing novel medical devices for spinal surgery.
"The US launch of Stalif and the announcement of an exclusive European distribution contract with DePuy Spine, a Johnson and Johnson company will allow the company to go from strength to strength."
John Edwards, chief executive at AWM, said: "Medical technologies is the type of business that is the future for the West Midlands economy, generating greater wealth and higher value jobs.
"Providing support for companies like Surgicraft is vital if the West Midlands is going to retain its competitive edge in today's global marketplace.
"Surgicraft are now at the cutting edge of innovation. They have expelled technological boundaries to develop a surgical device that will enhance the lives of many.
"Being able to allow time and resources for innovative activity is vital for companies like Surgicraft, if they want to stay ahead of the game."