STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective, multi-center chart and radiologic review.
OBJECTIVE: To present the first case series of bone tumors of the spine surgically reconstructed with a new custom, fully radiolucent, Polyetheretherketone/Carbon fiber (PEEK/CF) vertebral body replacement (VBR) integrated system.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Surgical resections of spinal tumors result in large defects and local recurrence remains a concern. Current titanium-based implants adversely affects postoperative imaging, directly affects ability to identify tumor recurrence, and for delivery of radiotherapy treatments. PEEK/CF spinal implants allows for improved tumor surveillance, precise pre-radiation CT planning, and reduces interference with post-reconstructive adjuvant radiotherapy.
METHOD: Thirteen patients with spinal tumors underwent vertebral body resection and reconstruction with an integrated, fully radiolucent, custom PEEK/CF vertebral body replacement and radiolucent posterior PEEK/CF screw-rod system and/or radiolucent anterior PEEK/CF plate system. Clinical and radiographic data were tabulated. Need for adjuvant radiotherapy determined based on final tissue histology and extent of surgical margins. Postoperative surveillance imaging were reviewed for local tumor recurrence.
RESULTS: The ability to integrate the PEEK/CF VBR connected to either the posterior screw-rod system, or anterior plate system provided immediate stability. The VBR was placed directly on cancellous vertebral body surface in 46.2% of cases. Loosening of the distal, or proximal, aspect of posterior system was seen in 15.4% of cases. There was no clinical or radiographic evidence of VBR migration and subsidence at latest follow up. Local recurrence occurred in 1 (7.7%) patient.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first series to describe the use of a fully-radiolucent, integrated, PEEK/CF implant system for spinal tumor reconstruction. The use of a PEEK/CF VBR system integrated to either the anterior plate, or posterior screw-rod system is feasible and allows for superior postoperative surveillance imaging and effective delivery of postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy.Level of Evidence: 4.