, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 237–241 | Cite as

PEEK versus metal cages in posterior lumbar interbody fusion: a clinical and radiological comparative study

  • F. Cuzzocrea
  • A. IvoneEmail author
  • E. Jannelli
  • A. Fioruzzi
  • E. Ferranti
  • R. Vanelli
  • F. Benazzo
Original Article



Low back pain and sciatica represent a common disabling condition with a significant impact on the social, working and economic lives of patients. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure used in degenerative spine conditions. Several types of cages were used in the TLIF procedure.


To determine whether there is a difference in terms of symptomatology improvement, return to daily activities and fusion rate between metal cages and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cages.


We have retrospectively reviewed 40 patients who have undergone TLIF from October 2015 to May 2016. All patients were clinically evaluated with questionnaires and were assessed with CT scan and standing X-ray films of the full-length spine.


We found no significant functional differences in the two groups. At 1-year follow-up, osteolysis was present in 50% of cases of the PEEK cages and in 10% cases of the metal cages. The degree of fusion at 1  year was evaluated as complete in 40% cases of the metal cages and 15% cases of the PEEK cages.


We have found a better fusion rate and prevalence of fusion in the group treated with metal cages, reflecting the well-known osteoinductive properties of titanium and tantalum.


TLIF PEEK Tantalum Titanium Cage 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.S.C. Ortopedia e Traumatologia, IRCCS Policlinico San MatteoUniversità degli Studi di PaviaPaviaItaly

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