gms | German Medical Science

65th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May 2014, Dresden

First experience with Carbon fibers / Peek pedicle screws in the lumbar spine

Meeting Abstract

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  • Sven O. Eicker - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • Theresa Krätzig - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • Sebastian Payer - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 65. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC). Dresden, 11.-14.05.2014. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. DocP 138

doi: 10.3205/14dgnc533, urn:nbn:de:0183-14dgnc5336

Published: May 13, 2014

© 2014 Eicker 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.



Objective: Several types of pedicle screw systems have been utilized for spine fusion. All systems are made of stainless steel or titanium, which interferes with imaging techniques, especially MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computerized imaging) scans, which decreases the diagnostic value. Evaluation of pedicle screw position, decompression of spinal canal and nerve roots and especially evaluation of tumor progression may become inadequate due to metal artifacts. The purpose of the study is to evaluate a newly developed carbon fiber/Peek pedicle screw system regarding efficient reduction of interference by artifacts with enhanced preservation of imaging details close to implants.

Method: To evaluate the impact of the implants and postoperative artifacts on the imaging, pedicle screws (icotec CF/PEEK PSI 2.0) were implanted in 5 patients monosegmental in the lumbar spine. MRI and CT scans were studied in detail after implantation of pedicle screws and rods made of carbon/ peek.

Results: Handling of the carbon/PEEK screws was found to be equal to stainless steel screws. Radiographic control during surgery needs some training to get used to, but due to markers at the screw tip it is easy to identify the screw position in lateral as well as in anteroposterior X-ray. No artifacts are detectable in MRI and excellent visualization of imaging details close to the implant in CT are found, except around the polyaxial titanium screw head.

Conclusions: Due to the reduction of the amount of metal the diagnostic value of postoperative imaging is increased. This may be especially interesting in the follow-up of spinal tumor diseases and improves the possibility of ion radiation therapy in spinal chordomas after decompression and fusion. Actually screws are presently available only for lumber and lower thoracic spine. Biomechanical and clinical studies have been initiated.