Publications

Characterization of In vivo Changes and Histological Repsonses of Retrieved PEEK Rod Spinal Systems

    • Reference:
    • Higgs, G. "Characterization of In vivo Changes and Histological Repsonses of Retrieved PEEK Rod Spinal Systems." Transactions of the First International PEEK Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, April 25-26, 2013.
    • Keywords:
    • PEEK Rods, Retrieval Analysis
    • Permissions:
    • This presentation is available with the permission of Mr. Higgs and his co-authors.

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Abstract

Though widely implemented to treat intractable back pain, lumbar fusion using metallic rods has been shown to generate supraphysiological stresses at adjacent vertebrae which may lead to the development of adjacent segment disease. Polyaryletheretherketone (PEEK) rods have been introduced as semi-rigid alternatives to metallic rod stabilization, but little is known about the changes that occur to PEEK rods in vivo. This study characterizes the surface damage mechanisms, curvature variations, crystallinity changes and histological responses of retrieved PEEK rods used in posterior spinal instrumentation. We hypothesized that PEEK rods would undergo permanent deformation and crystallinity changes while maintaining histological inertness in vivo.