OPF/PMMA Cage System as an Alternative Approach for the Treatment of Vertebral Corpectomy
The spinal column is the most common site for bone metastasis. Vertebral metastases with instability have historically been treated with corpectomy of the affected vertebral body and adjacent intervertebral discs, and have more recently been treated with separation surgery. With demographics shifting towards an elderly population, a less-invasive surgical approach is necessary for the repair of vertebral defects. We modified a previously reported expandable hollow cage composed of an oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) containment system that could be delivered via a posterior-only approach. Then, the polymer of interest, poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) bone cement, was injected into the lumen of the cage after expansion to form an OPF/PMMA cage. We compared six different cage formulations to account for vertebral body and defect size, and performed a cage characterization via expansion kinetics and mechanical testing evaluations. Additionally, we investigated the feasibility of the OPF/PMMA cage in providing spine stability via kinematic analyses. The in-vitro placement of the implant using our OPF/PMMA cage system showed improvement and mechanical stability in a flexion motion. The results demonstrated that the formulation and technique presented in the current study have the potential to improve surgical outcomes in minimally invasive procedures on the spine.