Hans Jörg Meisel, Mark Schnöring, Christian Hohaus, Yvonne Minkus, Andre Beier, Timothy Ganey, Ulrich Mansmann

November 2008, Volume 17, Issue 12, pp 1735 - 1744 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-008-0799-2

First Online: 07 October 2008

The use of biological technologies for the treatment of degenerative spinal diseases has undergone rapid clinical and scientific development. BMP strategies have gained wide support for an inherent potential to improve the ossification process. It has been extensively studied in combination with various techniques for spinal stabilisation from both anterior and posterior approach. We studied the fusion process after implantation of rhBMP-2 in 17 patients with degenerative lumbar spine diseases in combination with dorsal fixation with pedicle screws and poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) interbody cages. We used 12 mg rhBMP-2 carried by collagen sponge, 6 mg in every cage. Patient follow up consisted of pre-operative radiographic and clinical evaluation. Similar post-operative evaluations were performed at 3 and 6 months. Clinical assessment demonstrated clear improvement in all patients despite evidence of vertebral endplate osteoclastic activity in the 3-month radiographs. The 6-month radiograph, however, confirmed evidence of fusion, and no untoward results or outcomes were noted. While previous studies have shown exclusively positive results in both fusion rates and process, our study demonstrated an intermediate morphology at 3 months during the ossification process using Induct Os in combination with peek-cages using a PLIF-technique. The transient resorption of bone surrounding the peek cage did not result in subsidence, pain or complication, and fusion was reached in all cases within a 6-month-controlled evaluation. Although there was no negative influence on clinical outcome, the potential for osteoclastic or metabolic resorption bears watching during the post-surgical follow up.

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