With more than fifteen years of clinical history, PEEK-OPTIMA 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-OPTIMA polymers 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-OPTIMA Spinal Rod Components due to:

  • Improved load sharing to encourage fusion. 2,4
  • More physiologic loading at adjacent levels, which may decelerate degeneration. 5,6
  • Reduced stress at the bone-to-screw interface, which may prevent screw pull-out, especially in patients with questionable bone quality. 5,6
  1. Highsmith JM, Tumialan LM, Rodts Jr. GE. (2007). Flexible rods and the case for dynamic stabilization. Neurological Focus, 22, 1-5.
  2. Gornet, Matthew F., et al. (2011). Biomechanical Assessment of a PEEK Rod System for Semi-Rigid Fixations of Lumbar Fusion Constructs. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 133, 1-12.
  3. Moumene, M., et al. (2008). Biomechanical Advantages of Expedium PEEK Rods.
  4. Galbusera F., et al. (2010). Rigid and Flexible Spinal Stabilization Devices: A Biomechanical Comparison. Medical Engineering & Physics, 33, 490-496.
  5. Ormond, DR., et al. (2012). Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) rods in lumbar spine degenerative disease: a case series. J. Spinal Disord Tec. 12(8), 693-701.
  6. De lure, F., et al. (2012). Posterior lumbar fusion by PEEK rods in degenerative spine: preliminary report on 30 cases. Eur Spine J, 21(1), S50-S54.


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