gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

Lumbar interbody fusion with metal implants ("cages"): indications, results, outlooks

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author G. von Salis-Soglio - Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Leipzig, Orthopädie, Leipzig
  • R. Scholz - Leipzig
  • K. Seller - Leipzig

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novEP105

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

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 von Salis-Soglio 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.




In recent years a hugh variety of cages for lumbar interbody fusion came up with at the moment about 150 different implants on the market. The basic principle of interbody fusion is the high primary stability with maintenance of the intervertebral heigth of the instrumented levels, thus enabling constant bony fusion. However instead of the rising use of cages, there is an unsatisfactory lack of scientific evaluation of this subject.

Material and methods

Comparing data from literature and showing own cases (n=200) indications, results and complications are discussed.


Beside other different materials more and more titanium is used for cages, and they can be implanted with nearly all fusion-techniques. The anyalysis of definitive bony fusion is unsactisfactory untill now

with different evaluation criteria. Our results show a fusion rate through and around the implant of over 90%, cage subsidence at the lumbar spine can be seen in 4%, revisions are necessary in 8%.


Disadvantages of the cages are revision-problems, the costs and the fact of a durable metal implant, advantages are the high primary stability, the ongoing distraction effect and the reduced need for autologuos bone. Further development targets optimized surface structures, the use of biodegradable materials and the combination with osteoinductive substances.