INTRODUCTION: Radiotherapy (RT) is frequently applied as an adjuvant therapy during spinal tumors treatment. Metallic implants can interfere with RT planning and execution, as it is known that metallic implants produce a backscattering effect that can limit RT accuracy and their presence can be associated with unwanted dose increase. PEEK/carbon fiber implants are designed to reduce these problems but their application in the cervical spine is limited, due to the reduced number and types of implants, the screw dimensions and the absence of lateral mass screws. We propose a hybrid system made of carbon rods and screws coupled with subliminal polyester bands with titanium clamps. We designed this hybrid construct to enclose the cervical region in the area of instrumentation without limiting the application of postoperative radiotherapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Six patients in which the hybrid hardware was implanted were retrospectively examined. Data on demographics, intraoperative and postoperative events, tumor details and staging and cervical alignment were collected pre- and postoperatively.
RESULTS: No intraoperative complications occurred. En bloc resection was performed in two patients, while the remaining four received an intralesional resection. Three out of six patients received postoperative RT, without any alteration in its planning and administration.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Hybrid implants made of composite PEEK/carbon fiber screws and rods and sublaminar bands are a helpful solution for spinal reconstruction in the cervical and cervico-thoracic regions after spine tumor surgery. The implants do not produce artifacts at postoperative images, easing the planning and execution of postoperative radiotherapy.
- Carbon fiber implants
- Spinal reconstruction
- Spine tumor