Implant Materials in Spinal Surgery

  • Werner Schmoelz


Generally, biomaterials used in orthopaedic surgery can be classified in three groups: metals, ceramics and polymers. Ideally, material properties of orthopaedic implants should have a low elastic modulus close to cortical bone, high wear resistance, high strength, high corrosion resistance, high fracture toughness and high ductility. Unfortunately, no material is standing out in all desirable properties and some of the characteristics such as low elastic modulus and high strength are even opposing. Therefore, the material chosen for any kind of implant is depending on its specific requirements which are most important and necessary for the particular function of the implant. This may lead to different components of one implant being manufactured of different materials to best suit its intended application. In the last century, spinal implants were mainly manufactured of metal alloys such as stainless steel, pure titanium and titanium-aluminium-vanadium. In recent years, developments in the field of non-metallic biomaterials lead to the application of new materials such as PEEK and composite materials.


Pedicle Screw Pure Titanium High Wear Resistance Total Disc Replacement Crevice Corrosion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Trauma Surgery and Sports Medicine – BiomechanicsMedical University InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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