The purpose of this study was to introduce a method for making a hollow cylindrical polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) strut for perioperative anterior spinal reconstruction after discectomy and/or corpectomy.
For use after anterior cervical discectomy or corpectomy, the authors created a hollow cylindrical PMMA strut using 10- and 3-ml disposable plastic syringes filled with PMMA containing 10% BaSO4 for anterior spinal reconstruction.
With this method, the authors were able to make a PMMA strut that was approximately 50 mm in length with a 14-mm outer diameter and a 10-mm inner diameter. The PMMA strut could easily be cut with a saw to any desired length and molded with a cutting bur. The PMMA strut was used as a substitute for the cortical bone and was filled with bone graft for cervical spinal reconstruction after discectomy and/or corpectomy. The whole process of making the PMMA strut can be completed within 30 minutes, and it reduces costs by at least $1000 US (in 1-level discectomy), making the procedure cost effective.
It is simple to make a hollow cylindrical PMMA strut with plastic syringes during a discectomy and/or corpectomy. The strut can provide adequate support at less cost than other methods. The hollow cylindrical strut is also of suitable size and length for anterior spinal reconstruction. It serves as an alternative for patients who cannot afford the expense of similar instruments or who cannot or do not want to take the risk of a human graft for anterior spinal reconstruction.