Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) rods versus titanium rods for posterior lumbar fusion surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Orthop Surg Res. 2023 May 11;18(1):348. doi: 10.1186/s13018-023-03817-2.


BACKGROUND: Rigid fixation, represented by titanium rods, is a widely used fixation technique for lumbar fusion. However, this technique carries the risk of degeneration of adjacent segments. In recent years, the semi-rigid fixation technique represented by PEEK rods has gradually matured, and its effectiveness has been verified by numerous studies. The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of these two fixation modalities in posterior lumbar fusion surgery.

METHODS: Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were searched in PubMed, Cochrane Library, ScienceDirect, Embase, CNKI, and Wanfang databases. After data extraction and quality assessment of included studies, meta-analysis was performed using STATA 15.1 software. The protocol for this systematic review was registered on INPLASY (2021110049) and is available in full on the inplasy.com ( https://inplasy.com/inplasy-2021-11-0049/ ).

RESULTS: Fifteen relevant studies were finally included, including eight prospective studies and seven retrospective studies. The results of meta-analysis showed that in ODI (P = 0.000), JOA score (P = 0.017), VAS score for lower limb pain (P = 0.027), fusion rate of bone graft at week 12 (P = 0.001), fusion rate of bone graft at last follow-up (P = 0.028), there was a statistical difference between the two groups. The PEEK rod group was superior to the titanium rod group in the above aspects. While in VAS score for LBP (P = 0.396), there was no statistical difference between the two groups.

CONCLUSION: Both PEEK rods and titanium rods are effective fixation materials in lumbar fusion surgery. PEEK rods may be superior to titanium rods in improving postoperative function and improving bone graft fusion rates. However, given the limitations of this study, whether these conclusions are applicable needs further research.

PMID:37170362 | PMC:PMC10173510 | DOI:10.1186/s13018-023-03817-2


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