Hybrid Biosynthetic Autograft Extender for Use in Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Safety and Clinical Effectiveness

Open Orthop J. 2015 Jun 26:9:218-25. doi: 10.2174/1874325001509010194. eCollection 2015.


Autologous iliac crest bone graft is the preferred option for spinal fusion, but the morbidity associated with bone harvest and the need for graft augmentation in more demanding cases necessitates combining local bone with bone substitutes. The purpose of this study was to document the clinical effectiveness and safety of a novel hybrid biosynthetic scaffold material consisting of poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA, 75:25) combined by lyophilization with unmodified high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (10-12% wt:wt) as an extender for a broad range of spinal fusion procedures. We retrospectively evaluated all patients undergoing single- and multi-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion at an academic medical center over a 3-year period. A total of 108 patients underwent 109 procedures (245 individual vertebral levels). Patient-related outcomes included pain measured on a Visual Analog Scale. Radiographic outcomes were assessed at 6 weeks, 3-6 months, and 1 year postoperatively. Radiographic fusion or progression of fusion was documented in 221 of 236 index levels (93.6%) at a mean (±SD) time to fusion of 10.2+4.1 months. Single and multi-level fusions were not associated with significantly different success rates. Mean pain scores (+SD) for all patients improved from 6.8+2.5 at baseline to 3.6+2.9 at approximately 12 months. Improvements in VAS were greatest in patients undergoing one- or two-level fusion, with patients undergoing multi-level fusion demonstrating lesser but still statistically significant improvements. Overall, stable fusion was observed in 64.8% of vertebral levels; partial fusion was demonstrated in 28.8% of vertebral levels. Only 15 of 236 levels (6.4%) were non-fused at final follow-up.

Keywords: Bone extender; hyaluronic acid; intervertebral level; local bone autograft; lumbar fusion.