Alexander Abbushi, Mario Čabraja, Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale, Christian Woiciechowsky, Stefan Nikolaus Kroppenstedt

November 2009, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1621 - 1628 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-009-1036-3

First Online: 28 May 2009

In posterior lumbar interbody fusion, cage migrations and lower fusion rates compared to autologous bone graft used in the anterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure are documented. Anatomical and biomechanical data have shown that the cage positioning and cage type seem to play an important role. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of cage positioning and cage type on cage migration and fusion. We created a grid system for the endplates to analyze different cage positions. To analyze the influence of the cage type, we compared “closed” box titanium cages with “open” box titanium cages. This study included 40 patients with 80 implanted cages. After pedicle screw fixation, 23 patients were treated with a “closed box” cage and 17 patients with an “open box” cage. The follow-up period averaged 25 months. Twenty cages (25%) showed a migration into one vertebral endplate of <3 mm and four cages (5%) showed a migration of ≥3 mm. Cage migration was highest in the medio-medial position (84.6%), followed by the postero-lateral (42.9%), and the postero-medial (16%) cage position. Closed box cages had a significantly higher migration rate than open box cages, but fusion rates did not differ. In conclusion, cage positioning and cage type influence cage migration. The medio-medial cage position showed the highest migration rate. Regarding the cage type, open box cages seem to be associated with lower migration rates compared to closed box cages. However, the cage type did not influence bone fusion.

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