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Bone morphogenetic proteins in anterior lumbar interbody fusion: old techniques and new technologies

Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

J. Kenneth Burkus

Object. The author reports the clinical and radiographic outcomes obtained in three prospective multicenter clinical trials in which recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein—2 (rhBMP-2) was used in anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Methods. Stand-alone interbody fusion cages were used, and supplemental fixation was not performed as part of the study protocol. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two ALIF groups: one in which autologous iliac crest bone graft was used (control) and one in which an rhBMP-2—coated absorbable collagen sponge was placed (investigational group). In all patients who underwent rhBMP-2—augmented fusion, imaging demonstrated evidence of bone induction and early incorporation of the cortical allografts. Overall, more expedient clinical improvements and higher success rates were observed in the rhBMP-2 group.

Conclusions. In these studies it was shown that rhBMP-2 is a safe and effective material for facilitating ALIF and for decreasing pain and improving clinical outcomes.

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J. Kenneth Burkus, Randall F. Dryer and John H. Peloza

Object

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and assess specific risk factors in the postoperative development of retrograde ejaculation (RE) in men treated for degenerative lumbar disc disease at the L4–5 or L5–S1 level with stand-alone anterior interbody implants with or without recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2).

Methods

Patients enrolled in 5 prospective, randomized, multicenter FDA-approved investigational device exemption studies were observed for a minimum of 2 years to assess the rate of RE. Five hundred eight men with symptomatic single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease with up to Grade 1 spondylolisthesis underwent anterior lumbar interbody surgery with stand-alone anterior implants at either L4–5 or L5–S1. All patient self-reported and physician-documented adverse events were recorded over the entire course of follow-up. In the investigational groups, 207 patients were treated with an open surgical procedure using dual paired constructs and rhBMP-2 on an absorbable collagen sponge. The control groups (n = 301) were treated with lumbar fusion cage implants and iliac crest autograft or a metal-on-metal disc arthroplasty device. Multivariate analyses of RE were performed to assess the influence of treatment (rhBMP-2), surgical approach, and treated level. Data were analyzed for each trial individually and for the data pooled from the 5 trials.

Results

Retrograde ejaculation occurred at the highest rates in the earliest clinical trial. Of the 146 men, 6 (4.1%) developed RE postoperatively. In subsequent studies, the rates of RE ranged from 0% to 2.1%. Combining the data from the 5 trials, RE was reported in 7 (3.4%) of the 207 patients who received the rhBMP-2 treatment compared with 5 (1.7%) of the 301 patients who received the autograft or lumbar disc treatment (p = 0.242, Fisher exact test). Cases of RE were reported in 7 (1.6%) of 445 patients who underwent a retroperitoneal spinal exposure; 5 RE cases were reported in 58 patients (8.6%) who underwent a transperitoneal approach. The difference in surgical approaches was significant (p = 0.007, Fisher exact test). There was no difference in the rate of RE based on the lumbar level exposed (p = 0.739). Multivariate analyses were consistent with the conclusions from Fisher exact tests. In the initial rhBMP-2 trial, after adjusting for effects of surgical approach and treated level, the difference in RE between the treatment groups (rhBMP-2 vs autograft or disc arthroplasty) was not significant (p = 0.177); however, the difference in RE between the retroperitoneal and transperitoneal approaches was significant (p = 0.029).

Conclusions

In these 5 prospective randomized trials involving anterior lumbar interbody surgery, the use of rhBMP-2 was associated with a higher incidence of RE (3.4% vs 1.7%) but did not reach statistical significance. Based on surgical approach, the difference in rates of RE was statistically significant. This study reports on the outcomes of 5 prospective randomized FDA-approved investigational device exemption trials. Registration for studies became law in 2007. Four of these trials were completed before the law went into effect. The registration number for the lumbar disc arthroplasty trial is NCT00635843.

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J. Kenneth Burkus, Kevin Foley, Regis Haid and Jean-Charles LeHuec

The authors present their radiographic criteria for assessing fusion of the lumbar spine after anterior interbody fusion with intradiscal implants. These criteria include the assessment of plain radiographs, dynamic motion radiographs, and thin-cut computerized tomography scans. Fusion within the instrumented spinal motion segment can be determined using radiographic evaluation to assess spinal alignment on sequential examinations, angular and translational changes on dynamic motion studies, and device–host interface, and to identify new bone formation and bone remodeling. Finally, to aid the clinician in assessing fusion, the authors describe the five zones of fusion within the intervertebral disc space.

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Christopher I. Shaffrey and Justin S. Smith

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J. Kenneth Burkus, Regis W. Haid Jr., Vincent C. Traynelis and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

The purpose of this study was to determine long-term clinical outcomes in patients undergoing anterior cervical surgery in which a cervical disc prosthesis was used to treat single-level degenerative cervical disc disease.

Methods

In this prospective, nonblinded study, 541 patients at 32 investigational sites were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups. The results of the investigational group, in which patients received the Prestige disc prosthesis, were compared with those of the control group, in which patients underwent an instrumented interbody fusion. Data were collected preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, and 60 months postoperatively. To date, 271 patients have completed 5 years of clinical follow-up (144 investigational and 127 control patients).

Results

Significant improvements in Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores, Physical Component Summary scores of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and neck and arm pain scores were achieved by 1.5 months in both groups and sustained at 5 years. The mean NDI improvements from preoperative scores were 35.4, 36.3, and 38.4 at 24, 36, and 60 months, respectively, in the investigational group. The corresponding mean NDI improvements were 33.9, 31.3, and 34.1 in the control group. The intergroup differences at both 36 and 60 months were significant (p = 0.008 and 0.022, respectively). The overall rates of maintenance or improvement in neurological status in the investigational group were 91.6%, 92.8%, and 95.0%, respectively, at 24, 36, and 60 months compared with 83.6%, 83.2%, and 88.9% in the control group (p = 0.006, 0.004, and 0.051, respectively). The implant effectively maintained angular motion, averaging more than 7.3° at 36 months and 6.5° at 60 months after surgery. No implant migration was observed up to 60 months. There were statistically significant differences between the investigational and control groups with regard to the rate of revision and supplemental fixation surgical procedures performed subsequent to the index procedure. Additional surgical procedures for adjacent-segment disease were observed in both treatment groups. Rates for surgery at adjacent levels trended lower in the investigational group (8 patients [11 surgeries]) compared with those in the control group (13 patients [16 surgeries]), but the differences were not statistically significant (p = 0.376). Some of the second surgeries involved both index and adjacent levels.

Conclusions

The Prestige disc maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion after implantation at 5-year follow-up.

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Paul M. Arnold, Karen K. Anderson, Abdulhafez Selim, Randall F. Dryer and J. Kenneth Burkus

OBJECTIVE

Heterotopic ossification (HO) has been reported following total hip, knee, cervical, and lumbar arthroplasty, as well as following posterolateral lumbar fusion using recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2). Data regarding HO following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) with rhBMP-2 are sparse. A subanalysis was done of the prospective, multicenter, investigational device exemption trial that compared rhBMP-2 on an absorbable collagen sponge (ACS) versus allograft in ACDF for patients with symptomatic single-level cervical degenerative disc disease.

METHODS

To assess differences in types of HO observed in the treatment groups and effects of HO on functional and efficacy outcomes, clinical outcomes from previous disc replacement studies were compared between patients who received rhBMP-2/ACS versus allograft. Rate, location, grade, and size of ossifications were assessed preoperatively and at 24 months, and correlated with clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

Heterotopic ossification was primarily anterior in both groups. Preoperatively in both groups, and including osteophytes in the target regions, HO rates were high at 40.9% and 36.9% for the rhBMP-2/ACS and allograft groups, respectively (p = 0.350). At 24 months, the rate of HO in the rhBMP-2/ACS group was higher than in the allograft group (78.6% vs 59.2%, respectively; p < 0.001). At 24 months, the rate of superior-anterior adjacent-level Park Grade 3 HO was 4.2% in both groups, whereas the rate of Park Grade 2 HO was 19.0% in the rhBMP-2/ACS group compared with 9.8% in the allograft group. At 24 months, the rate of inferior-anterior adjacent-level Park Grade 2/3 HO was 11.9% in the rhBMP-2/ACS group compared with 5.9% in the allograft group. At 24 months, HO rates at the target implant level were similar (p = 0.963). At 24 months, the mean length and anteroposterior diameter of HO were significantly greater in the rhBMP-2/ACS group compared with the allograft group (p = 0.033 and 0.012, respectively). Regarding clinical correlation, at 24 months in both groups, Park Grade 3 HO at superior adjacent-level disc spaces significantly reduced range of motion, more so in the rhBMP-2/ACS group. At 24 months, HO negatively affected Neck Disability Index scores (excluding neck/arm pain scores), neurological status, and overall success in patients in the rhBMP-2/ACS group, but not in patients in the allograft group.

CONCLUSIONS

Implantation of rhBMP-2/ACS at 1.5 mg/ml with polyetheretherketone spacer and titanium plate is effective in inducing fusion and improving pain and function in patients undergoing ACDF for symptomatic single-level cervical degenerative disc disease. At 24 months, the rate and dimensions (length and anteroposterior diameter) of HO were higher in the rhBMP-2/ACS group. At 24 months, range of motion was reduced, with Park Grade 3 HO in both treatment groups. The impact of Park Grades 2 and 3 HO on Neck Disability Index success, neurological status, and overall success was not consistent among the treatment groups. The study data may offer a deeper understanding of HO after ACDF and may pave the way for improved device designs.

Clinical trial registration no.: IDE# G060021; data compared with pooled data from control arms of IDE# G010188/NCT00642876 and IDE# G000123/NCT00437190 (www.clinicaltrials.gov).

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J. Kenneth Burkus, Vincent C. Traynelis, Regis W. Haid Jr. and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

The authors assess the long-term safety and efficacy of cervical disc replacement with the Prestige Cervical Disc in a prospective, randomized, multicenter trial at 7 years of follow-up.

Methods

At 31 investigational sites, 541 patients with single-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups: 276 investigational group patients underwent anterior cervical discectomy and arthroplasty with the Prestige disc, and 265 control group patients underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Clinical outcomes included Neck Disability Index, the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and neck and arm pain scores. Radiographs were assessed for angle of motion and fusion. Clinical and radiographic outcomes were evaluated preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 60, and 84 months.

Results

Of the 541 patients treated, 395 patients (73%; 212 investigational and 183 control patients) completed 7 years of clinical follow-up. Significant improvements achieved by 1.5 months in both groups were sustained at 7 years. In the investigational group, mean Neck Disability Index improvements from preoperative scores were 38.2 and 37.5 at 60 and 84 months, respectively. In the control group, the corresponding means were 33.8 and 31.9. The differences between the investigational and control groups at the 60-month and 84-month periods were significant (p = 0.014 and 0.002, respectively). The overall rates of maintenance or improvement in neurological status in the investigational group were significantly higher: 92.2% and 88.2% at 60 months and 84 months, respectively, compared with 85.7% and 79.7% in the control group (p = 0.017 and 0.011, respectively). At 84 months, the percentage of working patients in the investigational group was 73.9%, and in the control group, 73.1%. Postoperatively, the implant effectively maintained average angular motion of 6.67° at 60 months and 6.75° at 84 months. Cumulative rates for surgery at the index level were lower (p < 0.001) in the investigational group (11 [4.8%] of 276) when compared with the control group (29 [13.7%] of 265) (based on life-table method), and there were statistical differences between the investigational and control groups with specific regard to the rate of subsequent revision and supplemental fixation surgical procedures. Rates for additional surgical procedures that involved adjacent levels were lower in the investigational group than in the control group (11 [4.6%] of 276 vs 24 [11.9%] of 265, respectively).

Conclusions

Cervical disc arthroplasty has the potential for preserving motion at the operated level while providing biomechanical stability and global neck mobility and may result in a reduction in adjacent-segment degeneration. The Prestige Cervical Disc maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion after implantation at 7-year follow-up. Clinical trial registration no. NCT00642876 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Mark E. Shaffrey, Francine W. Schranck and Anne G. Copay

OBJECTIVE

Food and Drug Administration–approved investigational device exemption (IDE) studies have provided level I evidence supporting cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) as a safe and effective alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Long-term CDA outcomes continue to be evaluated. Here, the authors present outcomes at 10 years postoperatively for the single-level CDA arm of an IDE study (postapproval study).

METHODS

The primary endpoint was overall success, a composite variable composed of five criteria: 1) Neck Disability Index score improvement ≥ 15 points; 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status; 3) no decline in anterior or posterior functional spinal unit (FSU) height of more than 2 mm compared to 6 weeks postoperatively; 4) no serious adverse event (AE) caused by the implant or the implant and the surgical procedure; and 5) no additional surgery classified as a failure. Additional safety and effectiveness measures included numeric rating scales for neck pain and arm pain, SF-36 quality-of-life physical and mental components, patient satisfaction, range of motion, and AEs.

RESULTS

From the reported assessments at 7 years postoperatively to the 10-year postoperative follow-up, the scores for all patient-reported outcomes, rate of overall success (without FSU), and proportion of patients at least maintaining their neurological function remained stable for the CDA group. Nine patients had secondary surgery at the index level, increasing the secondary surgery cumulative rate from 6.6% to 10.3%. In that same time frame, four patients experienced a serious implant or implant/surgical procedure–related AE, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 7.8%. Seven patients had any second surgery at adjacent levels, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 13.8%. Average angular motion at both the index and adjacent levels was well maintained without creating hypermobility. Class IV heterotopic ossification increased from 1.2% at 2 years to 4.6% at 7 years and 9.0% at 10 years. Patient satisfaction was > 90% at 10 years.

CONCLUSIONS

CDA remained safe and effective out to 10 years postoperatively, with results comparable to 7-year outcomes and with high patient satisfaction.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00667459 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Mark E. Shaffrey, Perry J. Argires, Hui Nian and Frank E. Harrell Jr.

OBJECT

This study compared the safety and efficacy of treatment with the PRESTIGE LP cervical disc versus a historical control anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

METHODS

Prospectively collected PRESTIGE LP data from 20 investigational sites were compared with data from 265 historical control ACDF patients in the initial PRESTIGE Cervical Disc IDE study. The 280 investigational patients with single-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy and/or myelopathy underwent arthroplasty with a low-profile artificial disc. Key safety/efficacy outcomes included Neck Disability Index (NDI), Neck and Arm Pain Numerical Rating Scale scores, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) score, work status, disc height, range of motion, adverse events (AEs), additional surgeries, and neurological status. Clinical and radiographic evaluations were completed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Predefined Bayesian statistical methods with noninformative priors were used, along with the propensity score technique for controlling confounding factors. Analysis by independent statisticians confirmed initial statistical findings.

RESULTS

The investigational and control groups were mostly similar demographically. There was no significant difference in blood loss (51.0 ml [investigational] vs 57.1 ml [control]) or hospital stay (0.98 days [investigational] vs 0.95 days [control]). The investigational group had a significantly longer operative time (1.49 hours vs 1.38 hours); 95% Bayesian credible interval of the difference was 0.01–0.21 hours. Significant improvements versus preoperative in NDI, neck/arm pain, SF-36, and neurological status were achieved by 1.5 months in both groups and were sustained at 24 months. Patient follow-up at 24 months was 97.1% for the investigational group and 84.0% for the control group. The mean NDI score improvements versus preoperative exceeded 30 points in both groups at 12 and 24 months. SF-36 Mental Component Summary superiority was established (Bayesian probability 0.993). The mean SF-36 PCS scores improved by 14.3 points in the investigational group and by 11.9 points in the control group from baseline to 24 months postoperatively. Neurological success at 24 months was 93.5% in the investigational group and 83.5% in the control group (probability of superiority ~ 1.00). At 24 months, 12.1% of investigational and 15.5% of control patients had an AE classified as device or device/surgical procedure related; 14 (5.0%) investigational and 21 (7.9%) control patients had a second surgery at the index level. The median return-to-work time for the investigational group was 40 days compared with 60 days for the control group (p = 0.020 after adjusting for preoperative work status and propensity score). Following implantation of the PRESTIGE LP device, the mean angular motion was maintained at 12 months (7.9°) and 24 months (7.5°). At 24 months, 90.0% of investigational and 87.7% of control patients were satisfied with the results of surgery. PRESTIGE LP superiority on overall success (without disc height success), a composite safety/efficacy end point, was strongly supported with 0.994 Bayesian probability.

CONCLUSIONS

This device maintains mean postoperative segmental motion while providing the potential for biomechanical stability. Investigational patients reported significantly improved clinical outcomes compared with baseline, at least noninferior to ACDF, up to 24 months after surgery.

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Shabbar F. Danish and Paul J. Marcotte