Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion using polyetheretherketone oblique cages with and without a titanium coating: A RANDOMISED CLINICAL PILOT STUDY

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AimsWe compared the clinical and radiological outcomes of using a polyetheretherketone cage with (TiPEEK) and without a titanium coating (PEEK) for instrumented transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF).Materials and MethodsWe conducted a randomised clinical pilot trial of 40 patients who were scheduled to undergo a TLIF procedure at one or two levels between L2 and L5. The Oswestry disability index (ODI), EuroQoL-5D, and back and leg pain were determined pre-operatively, and at three, six, and 12 months post-operatively. Fusion rates were assessed by thin slice CT at three months and by functional radiography at 12 months.ResultsAt final follow-up, one patient in each group had been lost to follow-up. Two patients in each of the PEEK and TiPEEK groups were revised for pseudarthrosis (p = 1.00). The rate of complete or partial fusion at three months was 91.7% in both groups. Overall, there were no significant differences in ODI or in radiological outcomes between the groups.ConclusionFavourable results with identical clinical outcomes and a high rate of fusion was seen in both groups. The titanium coating appears to have no negative effects on outcome or safety in the short term. A future study to determine the effect of titanium coating is warranted.

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