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1. (WO2019002992) SPINAL SCREW INSERTION DEVICES AND METHODS
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An instrument for driving a bone anchor assembly into bone, comprising:

a shaft assembly comprising a first handle and an elongate shaft with a distal tip configured to couple to a bone anchor assembly;

a stylet adjuster assembly comprising a second handle and a carrier assembly having at least one predefined fixed positioning feature for allowing a stylet to be releasably coupled to the carrier assembly in the at least one predefined fixed position to position a distal tip of the stylet at a desired position relative to the distal tip of the elongate shaft, the carrier assembly being configured to axially translate relative to the shaft assembly in response to rotation of the second handle relative to the elongate shaft, and the carrier assembly being configured to rotate with the shaft assembly in response to rotation of the first handle relative to the second handle.

2. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature comprises a plurality of predefined fixed positioning features spaced longitudinally along the carrier assembly.

3. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature comprises at least one notch formed in the carrier assembly, the at least one notch being configured to capture a coupling feature on the stylet to prevent longitudinal movement of the stylet relative to the carrier assembly.

4. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature is configured to engage the stylet by friction fit.

5. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the carrier assembly includes an elongate longitudinal slot formed therein and intersecting the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature, the slot being configured to seat a portion of the stylet.

6. The instrument of claim 5, wherein the carrier assembly includes a rotatable split sleeve disposed therearound and having a first position for allowing the stylet to pass therethrough to be seated in the slot, and a second position for retaining the stylet within the slot.

7. The instrument of claim 2, further comprising a plurality of bone fasteners having different lengths, wherein the plurality of predefined fixed positioning features are spaced apart by a distance that corresponds to a difference between the length of each of the plurality of bone fasteners.

8. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the carrier assembly includes a carrier member and a depth adjuster releasably coupled to the carrier member, the depth adjuster having the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature therein, and the carrier member being threadably coupled to the distal handle.

9. The instrument of claim 8, wherein the depth adjuster includes a threaded portion along an outer wall of an elongate body that threadably engages an inner wall of the carrier member for fixedly coupling the depth adjuster to the carrier member.

10. The instrument of claim 1, wherein the carrier assembly includes a spring clamping feature having a collapsed configuration and an expanded configuration, the spring clamping feature being configured to apply a clamping force to a portion of the stylet in the collapsed configuration to prevent movement of the stylet relative to the carrier assembly, and the spring clamping feature being configured to release the stylet in the expanded configuration to allow removal of the stylet from the carrier assembly.

11. The instrument of claim 1 , wherein the carrier assembly includes a depth adjuster releasably coupled to a carrier member that is threadably disposed within the distal handle, the depth adjuster including the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature for engaging the stylet in at least one predefined fixed position, and the at least one predefined fixed positioning feature comprising at least one blind hole extending proximally from a distal end of the depth adjuster.

12. An instrument for driving a bone fastener into bone, comprising:

a handle assembly having first and second handles;

an elongate shaft having a distal tip for driving a bone fastener into bone, the elongate shaft being coupled to the first handle such that rotation of the first handle causes corresponding rotation of the elongate shaft to thereby drive a bone fastener into bone;

a carrier assembly coupled between the first and second handles, the carrier assembly having a plurality of mating features for engaging a stylet in a plurality of predefined fixed positions, and wherein rotation of the second handle is effective to advance and retract the stylet to adjust a position of a tip of the stylet relative to a bone fastener coupled to the distal tip of the elongate shaft, and wherein rotation of the first handle for driving a bone fastener coupled to the distal tip of the elongate shaft into bone causes the carrier assembly to move proximally to retract the stylet.

13. The instrument of claim 12, wherein the plurality of mating features comprise notches spaced longitudinally along the carrier assembly for engaging a mating feature formed on a proximal end of the stylet.

14. The instrument of claim 12, wherein the plurality of mating features comprises bores formed in the carrier assembly and differing in length relative to one another for positioning the stylet at different longitudinal positions.

15. The instrument of claim 12, further comprising a plurality of bone fasteners having different lengths, wherein the plurality of mating features are spaced apart by a distance that corresponds to a difference between the length of each of the plurality of bone fasteners.

16. The instrument of claim 12, wherein a drive tube is coupled between the elongate shaft and the first handle, and the carrier assembly is disposed within the drive tube and has external threads that extend through slots formed in the drive tube for mating with internal threads formed within the second handle.

17. A method for implanting a bone fastener, comprising

coupling a stylet to a carrier assembly of an inserter device at a predefined fixed position such that a distal tip of the stylet extends a predetermined distance beyond the bone fastener coupled to an elongate shaft of the inserter device;

positioning the distal tip of the stylet on bone;

rotating a first handle of the inserter device relative to a second handle of the inserter device to cause the carrier assembly to translate distally, thereby advancing the distal tip of the stylet into bone; and

rotating a second handle of the inserter device to thereby rotate the bone fastener such that the bone fastener is advanced into bone along the stylet, the carrier assembly translating proximally to retract the stylet as the bone fastener is advanced into bone.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein coupling the stylet at the predefined fixed position comprises positioning a protrusion formed on a proximal end of the stylet within a notch formed in the carrier assembly.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein coupling the stylet t at the predefined fixed position comprises positioning a proximal portion of the stylet within a bore formed in the carrier assembly.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the carrier assembly includes a depth adjuster having a positioning feature formed therein that defines the predefined fixed position, and a carrier releasably coupled to the depth adjuster, the carrier having external threads for mating with internal threads formed within the first handle.