Spinal Arthroplasty


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

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

The benefits of spinal arthroplasty compared to fusion for adjacent segment disease up to five years after surgery remains controversial1. Yet cervical arthroplasty remains a viable option for patients who wish to preserve range of motion following surgery. Histological analysis of current generation spinal arthroplasty devices has shown evidence of both metallic and polymeric wear debris, frequently with inflammatory cells in the surrounding tissues2.

PEEK-OPTIMA has an elastic modulus similar to cortical bone which may make it a preferred material for spinal arthroplasty devices.

Preliminary dynamic testing indicates that spinal arthroplasty devices made with PEEK-OPTIMA™ Natural or PEEK-OPTIMA™ Reinforced may generate significantly lower wear rates and particulate loads compared with traditional couplings.3-5 In addition, taking into account the particulate loads, both in-vitro and animal studies have suggested that PEEK-OPTIMA Natural and PEEK-OPTIMA Reinforced particles elicit a reduced biological response compared with UHMWPE.6-7

Unlike metals and other polymers, PEEK-OPTIMA is inherently radiolucent and provides improved healing site visualization.


  1. Verma K. et al. Rate of adjacent segment disease in cervical disc arthroplasty versus single-level fusion: meta-analysis of prospective studies. Spine. 2013 Dec 15;38(26):2253-7.
  2. Veruva SY, et al. Which design and biomaterial factors affect clinical wear performance of total disc replacements? A systematic review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Dec;472(12):3759-69.
  3. Brown T, et al. An In Vitro Biotribological Assessment of NUBAC, a Polyetheretherketone-on-Polyetheretherketone Articulating Nucleus Replacement Device: Methodology and Results From a Series of Wear Tests Using Different Motion Profiles, Test Frequencies, and Environmental Conditions. Spine. 2010 Jul 15;35(16):E774-781.
  4. Brown T, et al. An In Vitro Assessment of Wear Particulate Generated from NUBAC, A PEEK on PEEK Articulating Nucleus Replacement Device. Methodology and Results from a Series of Wear Tests Using Different Motion Profiles, Test Frequencies and Environmental Conditions. Spine. 2011 Dec 15;36(26):E1675–E1685.
  5. Grupp TM, et al. Alternative bearing materials for intervertebral disc arthroplasty. Biomaterials. 2010 Jan;31(3):523-531.
  6. Hallab NJ, et al. Macrophage reactivity to different polymers demonstrates particle size- and material-specific reactivity: PEEK-OPTIMA™ particles versus UHMWPE particles in the submicron, micron, and 10 micron size ranges. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2012 Feb;100(2):480-492.
  7. Kabir et al. CFR-PEEK based polymer-on-polymer articulations. A new standard for cervical disc prosthesis—an in vitro and in vivo study comparing UHMWPE and CFR-PEEK. Eur Spine J. 2011;20 Supplement 4: S436.

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