Yusuf Assem, Ralph J. Mobbs, Matthew H. Pelletier, Kevin Phan, William R. Walsh

March 2017, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 593 - 605 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-4353-8

First Online: 15 December 2015


The primary objective of this paper was to provide a systematic review of the available clinical studies of Ti/PEEK combined cages in spinal interbody fusion surgeries, focusing on their radiological and clinical outcomes. A secondary aim was to provide a review and evaluation of the in vitro and preclinical studies reported on Ti/PEEK-coated implants.


A systematic search of the literature was performed in March 2015 via three databases: Medline, Embase and Cochrane library. The following key search terms were combined with synonyms to identify relevant articles: “spinal fusion,” “PEEK,” “titanium” and “cage.”


The novelty of this intervention translates into a paucity of clinical trials, albeit the results of the seven clinical studies that met the criteria for inclusion are promising. All studies reported rate of fusion as a primary outcome. Two studies reported slightly improved fusion in the experimental Ti/PEEK combination cohort, one study identical fusion (91.7 %) and three studies excellent fusion (96, 100 and 94 %) in the Ti/PEEK cohort, although no differences reached statistical significance.


Clinical studies at this early stage demonstrate that Ti/PEEK implants are safe and efficacious, exhibiting similar fusion rates and clinical outcomes compared to the current standard PEEK. There is clinical evidence substantiating the improved radiographic fusion of Ti/PEEK, albeit the differences were not significant. This field is promising, gaining substantial popularity, and further clinical trials are needed in the future to establish Ti/PEEK cages as a mainstay of clinical practice.

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