Thornton Cleveleys (UK) – Polymeric spinal rods provide a bridge between rigid all-metal spinal implants and more dynamic therapeutic options. Adopting this "bridging" approach, France-based Innov'spine, a leading specialist in innovative solutions for spinal surgery, is offering a new PEEK-polymer rod system in its VEOS product line. The new rods are made of PEEK-OPTIMA™, an implantable polyetherether-ketone (PEEK) polymer available from Invibio Biomaterial Solutions ("Invibio"). A notable feature is the use of polyaxial screws – previously, systems were only available with monoaxial screws. These new rods, which originate as a semi-finished product from Invibio, have gained CE mark approval for their use in Europe, a further signal that PEEK-polymer spinal implants are now widely recognized, within the medical profession, as the therapeutic option of choice.
“PEEK-polymer solutions for interbody spinal fusion are now the medical-technology leaders. The exceptionally versatile PEEK-OPTIMA has a modulus close to that of human bone, and this allows it to be a natural bridge between very rigid metal implants, such as the titanium constructs, and more dynamic approaches,” commented Dr. Thierry Desjardins, Neurosurgeon (Cagnes-sur-Mer, France). In fact, PEEK-polymer implants offer numerous benefits, including radiolucency, which of course metals don't allow, while retaining the stability of titanium."
Polyaxial screws: new option for surgeons
Importantly, the new PEEK-OPTIMA polymer-rod system from Innov'spine supports the use of a polyaxial-type screw. Previously only monoaxial screws had been available for spinal-rod implants, but polyaxial screws enable better alignment of the screw head with the rod, helping to avoid pre-stressing and damage to the rod. Biomechanical testing has in fact demonstrated that the thermoplastic spinal-rod components maintain better screw purchase,4 reduce screw movement and avoid potential screw pull-out and implant failure.4, 5
"Increasingly spinal surgeons are adopting polymer implants made of Invibio´s novel PEEK-OPTIMA polymer. The European CE mark granted to our new rod system with polyaxial screws is also a clear indicator that the new solution bridges existing treatment gaps," said Fabrice Paccagnella, Founder - General Manager at Innov'spine. "Use of polymer spinal implants decreases stress at the extremely critical interface of bone and screw. This effectively protects adjacent levels and offers an alternative solution that lies between a completely rigid system, on the one hand, and a too-dynamic system on the other. This approach optimizes long-term stability and the prognosis for a positive therapeutic outcome."