Spinal fusion surgery is a popular option for people who have been suffering from pain caused by a wide variety of spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and more. The procedure itself consists of a spinal surgeon fusing together two vertebrae to form a single, solid bone, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The length of time required to recover from a spinal fusion surgery varies depending on the individual.
Sometimes, an individual will have synthetic materials placed as a bone graft to stimulate bone healing after a spinal fusion surgery. A new study published in The Spine Journalreveals that “a spinal interbody fusion implant with a roughened titanium alloy surface provides an enhanced environment for bone formation, implant stability and fusion compared to one with a smooth titanium alloy surface,” according to Medical XPress.
The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering. In the study, the researchers compared the growth of bone and blood vessels in two different bone cell culture environments: a smooth titanium alloy surface and poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK). As well as using those two types of material for bone grafting, the researchers also used a “new proprietary implant surface technology” designed by Titan Spine, LLC.
After in vitro studies, the researchers found that a rough titanium alloy surface “increased production of the necessary growth factors by nearly 100 percent, compared to the PEEK and smooth titanium alloy materials,” according to a press release. The researchers say that surgeons may be able to improve healing after spinal fusion by modifying the materials used in the bone grafting process. In addition, future research will demonstrate how different types of surfaces affect inflammation caused by spinal fusion surgery.