First Clinical Experience with a Carbon Fibre Reinforced PEEK Composite Plating System for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

J Funct Biomater. 2019 Jul 2;10(3):29. doi: 10.3390/jfb10030029.


Carbon fibre reinforced polyether ether ketone (CFR-PEEK) is a suitable material to replace metal implants in orthopaedic surgery. The radiolucency of CFR-PEEK allows an optimal visualisation of the bone and soft tissue structures. We aimed to assess the performance and radiological and clinical outcomes of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with CFR-PEEK anterior cervical plating (ACP) under first use clinical conditions. We retrospectively studied the prospectively-collected data of 42 patients who underwent ACDF with CFR-PEEK ACP between 2011 and 2016. We assessed clinical outcome (Odom's criteria, complications) and radiological parameters (global and segmental cervical lordosis, Bridwell score for fusion, adjacent segment degeneration) preoperatively, immediately post-operatively, and after a 12-month follow-up period. Patients' satisfaction was excellent, good, fair, and poor in 12, 19, 3, and 1 patients, respectively. Two patients developed dysphagia. No hardware failure occurred. Compared with preoperative radiographs, we observed a gain of global cervical lordosis and segmental lordosis (7.4 ± 10.1 and 5.6 ± 7.1 degrees, respectively) at the 12-month follow-up. Bridwell IF grades I, II, and III were observed in 22, 6, and 7 patients, respectively. The 12-month adjacent segment degeneration-free and adjacent segment disease-free survival rates were 93.1% and 96.3%, respectively. We observed a dysphagia rate of 5.7% and a reoperation rate of 4.8%. In conclusion, CFR-PEEK ACP shows positive outcomes in terms of implant safety, restoration of cervical lordosis, and functional recovery, and is suitable for ACDF.

Keywords: ACDF; CFR-PEEK; PEEK; carbon; cervical spine; degenerative; trauma; tumour.