Use of Polyetheretherketone Devices May Up Pseudarthrosis

Higher rates of pseudarthrosis, revision sx versus allografts in patients with one-level ACDF

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For one-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), use of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) devices is associated with significantly higher rates of radiographically demonstrated pseudarthrosis and need for revision surgery compared with allografts, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Katie L. Krause, M.D., Ph.D., from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 127 patients who had undergone a one-level ACDF followed by at least one year of radiographic follow-up.

The researchers found that 56 of the patients had received PEEK implants and 71 had received allografts. Overall, 82 percent of the PEEK implants were stand-alone devices. The two treatment groups did not differ significantly with respect to patient age, sex, or body mass index. Fifty-two percent of patients with PEEK implants and 10 percent of patients with structural allografts had radiographic evidence of pseudarthrosis (odds ratio, 9.82). Seven patients and one patient with PEEK implants and an allograft, respectively, required reoperation for pseudarthrosis (odds ratio, 10.0). Tobacco use did not differ between the PEEK and allograft groups.

"The results of this study suggest that the use of PEEK cages is associated with a significantly increased risk for bone nonunion and revision surgery compared to the use of structural allograft implants," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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