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56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V. (DGNC)
3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V.
Société Française de Neurochirurgie

07. bis 11.05.2005, Strasbourg

Titanium and Carbon Cages in posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)

Vergleichsstudie von Titan und Carbon Cages bei dorsaler Spondylodese (PLIF)

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author S. Bone - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, BG-Klinik Bergmannstrost, Halle/Saale
  • A. Beier - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, BG-Klinik Bergmannstrost, Halle/Saale
  • H. J. Meisel - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, BG-Klinik Bergmannstrost, Halle/Saale

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Société Française de Neurochirurgie. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), 3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC). Strasbourg, 07.-11.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc09.05.-11.04

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 4, 2005

© 2005 Bone et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




To evaluate whether there is an influence on clinical results and radiological findings using Telamon Carbon Cages as an substitute for Telamon Titanium Cages during PLIF-technique in spinal surgery.


We studied the fusion process and the clinical outcome after surgical treatment with PLIF in 109 patients with degenerative lumbar spine diseases in combination with dorsal fixation with pedicle screws and titanium and carbon cages from 11/2000 until 11/2004. We used titanium cages in 87 and carbon cages in 22 patients. Patient follow-up consisted of similar pre- and post- operative radiographic and clinical evaluation at 6, 12 and 24 months.


In the titanium group 58 patients (66,7%) and 21 patients (95,5%) in the carbon group were available for complete follow-up evaluation. Clinical assessments demonstrated clear improvement in all patients without significant differences between the titanium group and the carbon group. Fusion was apparent in 42,9% in the carbon group and 100% in the titanium group in the 6-month computed tomographs. After 12 month, fusion is apparent in 86,4% in the carbon group. In the 24 month examination 100% fusion in both Groups is apparent. Postoperative radiographs showed good remodeling of the treated spinal segment. As an expected side effect the CT scans of the patients implanted with carbon cages showed fewer artifacts. The surgical safety and feasibility of titanium and carbon cages was similar.


Former studies have shown positive results in both fusion rates and clinical outcome using titanium cages in PLIF. Our study has not demonstrated any significant differences in evaluation score data and patient self assessment using carbon cages. This is to be explained by comparable results of decompression of nerve structures, stabilization and balance restoration of the lumbar spine. In addition to that, implantation of carbon cages is save and feasible. However ossification process is not similar with different cages. This would seem to suggest that there is an influence of the cage material or probably of variations in cage design to. Another explanation could be in the fact that visualization of fusion process with lesser artifacts by carbon cages is more accurate. Account of small “black holes” in the grown bone material in the CT scans after 3 and 6 month completed fusion was described later.