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Zeeshan Sardar, David Alexander, William Oxner, Stephan du Plessis, Albert Yee, Eugene K. Wai, D. Greg Anderson, and Peter Jarzem


Failure of fusion after a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure is a challenging problem that can lead to ongoing low-back pain, dependence on pain medication, and inability to return to work. B2A is a synthetic peptide that has proven efficacy in achieving fusion in animal models and may have a better safety profile than bone morphogenetic protein. The authors undertook this study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of B2A peptide–enhanced ceramic granules (Prefix) in comparison with autogenous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG, control) in patients undergoing single-level TLIF.


Twenty-four patients with single-level degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine at L2–S1 requiring TLIF were enrolled between 2009 and 2010. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups: a control group (treated with ICBG, n = 9), a Prefix 150 group (treated with Prefix 150 μg/cm3 granules, n = 8), and a Prefix 750 group (treated with Prefix 750 μg/cm3 granules, n = 7). Outcome measures included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog pain scale, and radiographic fusion as assessed by CT and dynamic flexion/extension lumbar plain radiographs.


At 12 months after surgery, the radiographic fusion rate was 100% in the Prefix 750 group, 78% in the control group, and 50% in the Prefix 150 group, although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.08). At 6 weeks the mean ODI score was 41.0 for the control group, 27.7 for the Prefix 750 group, and 32.2 for the Prefix 150 group, whereas at 12 months the mean ODI was 24.4 for control, 31.1 for Prefix 750, and 29.7 for Prefix 150 groups. Complications were evenly distributed among the groups.


Prefix appears to provide a safe alternative to autogenous ICBG. Prefix 750 appears to show superior radiographic fusion when compared with autograft at 12 months after TLIF, although no statistically significant difference was demonstrated in this small study. Prefix and control groups both appeared to demonstrate comparable improvements to ODI at 12 months.

Open access

Jeffrey J. Hébert, Tyler Adams, Erin Cunningham, Dana El-Mughayyar, Neil Manson, Edward Abraham, Niels Wedderkopp, Erin Bigney, Eden Richardson, Amanda Vandewint, Chris Small, George Kolyvas, Andre le Roux, Aaron Robichaud, Michael H. Weber, Charles Fisher, Nicolas Dea, Stephan du Plessis, Raphaele Charest-Morin, Sean D. Christie, Christopher S. Bailey, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Michael G. Johnson, Jerome Paquet, Andrew Nataraj, Bernard LaRue, Hamilton Hall, and Najmedden Attabib


Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is often described as the gold standard surgical technique for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy. Although outcomes are considered favorable, there is little prognostic evidence to guide patient selection for ACDF. This study aimed to 1) describe the 24-month postoperative trajectories of arm pain, neck pain, and pain-related disability; and 2) identify perioperative prognostic factors that predict trajectories representing poor clinical outcomes.


In this retrospective cohort study, patients with cervical spondylotic radiculopathy who underwent ACDF at 1 of 12 orthopedic or neurological surgery centers were recruited. Potential outcome predictors included demographic, health, clinical, and surgery-related prognostic factors. Surgical outcomes were classified by trajectories of arm pain intensity, neck pain intensity (numeric pain rating scales), and pain-related disability (Neck Disability Index) from before surgery to 24 months postsurgery. Trajectories of postoperative pain and disability were estimated with latent class growth analysis, and prognostic factors associated with poor outcome trajectory were identified with robust Poisson models.


The authors included data from 352 patients (mean age 50.9 [SD 9.5] years; 43.8% female). The models estimated that 15.5%–23.5% of patients followed a trajectory consistent with a poor clinical outcome. Lower physical and mental health–related quality of life, moderate to severe risk of depression, and longer surgical wait time and procedure time predicted poor postoperative trajectories for all outcomes. Receiving compensation and smoking additionally predicted a poor neck pain outcome. Regular exercise, physiotherapy, and spinal injections before surgery were associated with a lower risk of poor disability outcome. Patients who used daily opioids, those with worse general health, or those who reported predominant neck pain or a history of depression were at greater risk of poor disability outcome.


Patients who undergo ACDF for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy experience heterogeneous postoperative trajectories of pain and disability, with 15.5%–23.5% of patients experiencing poor outcomes. Demographic, health, clinical, and surgery-related prognostic factors can predict ACDF outcomes. This information may further assist surgeons with patient selection and with setting realistic expectations. Future studies are needed to replicate and validate these findings prior to confident clinical implementation.