With over twenty years of clinical history, PEEK-OPTIMATM polymers were the first medical-grade PEEK used in spinal fusion surgeries offering distinct clinical advantages due to their inherent properties including:

  • Modulus similar to bone
  • Reduced stress shielding
  • Artifact-free imaging

Now, spinal rod components made from PEEK-OPTIMATM Natural are being used to achieve semi-rigid fixation with posterior pedicle screw systems as an alternative to metal. From rod breakage and screw loosening to accelerated degeneration at adjacent spinal segments, the high stiffness inherent with all-metal constructs are believed to contribute to clinical challenges and negatively impact patient outcomes.1,2 In response, surgeons have indicated that a range of stiffness would benefit patients.2

With a lower stiffness and radiolucency, patients may benefit from PEEK-OPTIMATM Spinal Rod Components due to:

  • Improved load sharing to encourage fusion2,4
  • More physiologic loading at adjacent levels, which may decelerate degeneration5,6
  • Reduced stress at the bone-to-screw interface, which may prevent screw pull-out, especially in patients with questionable bone quality5,6


1. Highsmith JM, Tumialan LM, Rodts GE Jr. Flexible rods and the case for dynamic stabilization. Neurological Focus. 2007;22, 1-5.

2. Gornet MF, et al. Biomechanical Assessment of a PEEK Rod System for Semi-Rigid Fixation of Lumbar Fusion Constructs. J Biomech Eng. 2011 Aug;133(8):081009.

3. Moumene M, et al. Biomechanical Advantages of Expedium PEEK Rods. 2008.

4. Galbusera F, et al. Rigid and Flexible Spinal Stabilization Devices: A Biomechanical Comparison. Med Eng Phys. 2011 May;33(4):490-496.

5. Ormond DR, et al. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) Rods in Lumbar Spine Degenerative Disease: A Case Series. Clin Spine Surg. 2016 Aug;29(7):E371-5.

6. De lure F, et al. Posterior lumbar fusion by PEEK rods in degenerative spine: preliminary report on 30 cases. Eur Spine J. 2012 May; 21(Suppl 1): 50-54.


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