4 trends in PEEK use for orthopedic, spine surgery

Spinal Tech

The International PEEK Meeting recently highlighted new research papers on PEEK adoption and clinical practices.


Here are four key trends from the meeting:


1. There is a potential for surgeons to use carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK plates in fracture fixation, due to their high fatigue strength and favorable modulus of elasticity. "The potential benefits of a less stiff construct on healing are hugely attractive and the results from some early clinical comparative work with metals, which will be released in October, will only increase the interest in these materials," said Medical Business Director of Invibio Biomaterial Solutions John Devine.


2. Additive manufacturing is making programs in PEEK polymer-based implant production. Additive manufacturing delivers implants customized for each patient. Apium Additive Technologies offers the first commercially available 3D printer for processing PEEK.


3. Drexel University researchers used the Apium machine to print intervertebral lumbar cages with experimental PEEK filaments and future additive technology has the potential to match performance characteristics of machined cages.


4. The early clinical experience with radiolucent CFR-PEEK pedicle screws showed the screws and rods can reduce artifacts in CT and MRI to facilitate better screw positioning and postoperative evaluation.


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