Preliminary results in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with an experimental bioabsorbable cage - clinical and radiological findings in an ovine animal model

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Daentzer, D.; Floerkemeier, T.; Bartsch, I.; Masalha, W.; Welke, B. et al.: Preliminary results in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with an experimental bioabsorbable cage - clinical and radiological findings in an ovine animal model. In: SpringerPlus 2 (2013), Nr. 1 , S. 1-8. DOI:

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Background: Bioabsorbable implants are not widely used in spine surgery. This study investigated the clinical and radiological findings after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in an ovine animal model with an experimental bioabsorbable cage consisting of magnesium and polymer (poly-ε-caprolactone, PCL) in comparison to a tricortical bone graft as the gold standard procedure. Materials and Methods: 24 full-grown sheep had ACDF of C3/4 and C5/6 with an experimental bioabsorbable implant (magnesium and PCL) in one level and an autologous tricortical bone graft in the second level. The sheep were divided into 4 groups (6 sheep each). After 3, 6, 12, or 24 weeks postoperatively, the cervical spines were harvested and conventional x-rays of each operated segment were conducted. The progress of interbody fusion was classified according to a three-point scoring system. Results: There were no operation related complications except for one intraoperative fracture of the anterior superior iliac spine and two cases of screw loosening and sinking, respectively. In particular, no vascular, neurologic, wound healing or infectious problems were observed. According to the time of follow-up, both interbody fusion devices showed similar behaviour with increasing intervertebral osseointegration and complete arthrodesis in 10 of 12 (83.3%) motion segments after 24 weeks. Conclusions: The bioabsorbable magnesium-PCL cage used in this experimental animal study showed clinically no signs of incompatibility such as infectious or wound healing problems. The radiographic results regarding the osseointegration are comparable between the cage and the bone graft group.
License of this version: CC BY 2.0
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2013
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Maschinenbau

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