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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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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Randall F. Dryer, John H. Peloza, Francine W. Schranck, and Anne G. Copay

OBJECTIVE

Despite evidence of its safety and effectiveness, the use of lumbar disc arthroplasty has been slow to expand due in part to concerns about late complications and the risks of revision surgery associated with early devices. More recently, FDA approval of newer devices and improving reimbursements have reversed this trend in the United States. Additional long-term data on lumbar disc arthroplasty are still needed. This study reports the 5-year results of the FDA investigational device exemption clinical trial of the Medtronic Spinal and Biologics’ Maverick total disc replacement.

METHODS

Patients with single-level degenerative disc disease from L4 to S1 were randomized 2:1 at 31 investigational sites. In the period from April 2003 to August 2004, 405 patients received the investigational device and 172 patients underwent the control procedure of anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Outcome measures included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), numeric rating scales (NRSs) for back and leg pain, the SF-36, disc height, interbody motion, heterotopic ossification (investigational device), adverse events (AEs), additional surgeries, and neurological status. Treatment was considered an overall success when all of the following criteria were met: 1) ODI score improvement ≥ 15 points over the preoperative score; 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status compared with preoperatively; 3) disc height success, that is, no more than a 2-mm reduction in anterior or posterior height; 4) no serious AEs caused by the implant or by the implant and the surgical procedure; and 5) no additional surgery classified as a failure.

RESULTS

Compared to that in the control group, improvement in the investigational group was statistically greater according to the ODI and SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) at 1, 2, and 5 years; the NRS for back pain at 1 and 2 years; and the NRS for leg pain at 1 year. The rates of heterotopic ossification increased over time: 1.0% (4/382) at 1 year, 2.6% (9/345) at 2 years, and 5.9% (11/187) at 5 years. Investigational patients had fewer device-related AEs and serious device-related AEs than the control patients at both 2 and 5 years postoperatively. Noninferiority of the composite measure overall success was demonstrated at all follow-up intervals; superiority was demonstrated at 1 and 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Lumbar disc arthroplasty is a safe and effective treatment for single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease, resulting in improved physical function and reduced pain up to 5 years after surgery.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00635843 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Domagoj Coric, Richard D. Guyer, Hyun Bae, Pierce D. Nunley, K. Brandon Strenge, John H. Peloza, Margaret O. Boltes, and Donna D. Ohnmeiss

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a PEEK-on-ceramic cervical total disc replacement (cTDR) device for the treatment of 2-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy and/or myelopathy.

METHODS

The study was a prospective, nonrandomized, historically controlled FDA investigational device exemption trial evaluating the Simplify Cervical Artificial Disc for use at 2 levels. The anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) control group was derived from a propensity score–matched (using subclassification) cohort of patients who participated in an earlier prospective trial in which similar indications were used. The follow-up duration was 24 months. The primary outcome was a 4-point composite success classification. Other validated clinical and radiographic assessments were also evaluated.

RESULTS

The investigational group (n = 182) was compared with patients who underwent ACDF (n = 170) in a historical control group using propensity score analysis. The overall composite success rate was statistically significantly greater in the cTDR group compared with the ACDF group (86.7% vs 77.1%; p < 0.05). The mean Neck Disability Index scores improved significantly in both groups, with cTDR significantly lower at some follow-up points. At the 24-month follow-up, a minimum 15-point improvement in Neck Disability Index scores was achieved in 92.9% of the cTDR group and 83.5% of the ACDF group (p > 0.05). In both groups, neck and arm pain scores improved significantly (p < 0.05) by 6 weeks and improvement was maintained throughout follow-up. Segmental range of motion was maintained at both treated segments in the cTDR group. MRI performed in the cTDR group at 24 months postoperatively found minimal changes in facet joint degeneration. The rate of subsequent surgical intervention was 2.2% in the cTDR group and 8.8% in the ACDF group.

CONCLUSIONS

This study adds to the growing body of literature supporting cTDR for 2-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy or myelopathy. cTDR showed a superior overall success rate compared to ACDF, while maintaining motion. These results support that the Simplify disc is a viable alternative to ACDF in appropriately selected patients with 2-level cervical spondylosis.