Carbon Fiber Implant to Aid Interbody Lumbar Fusion: 1-year Clinical Results in the First 26 Patients

  • John W. Brantigan
  • Arthur D. Steffee


Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), pioneered by Ralph Cloward in the 1940’s [1,2] is a biomechanically optimum fusion. A successful PLIF maintains the disk height, protects the nerve roots, restores weight bearing to anterior structures, restores the annulus to tension, and immobilizes the unstable de-generated intervertebral disk area. A successful PLIF restores every mechanical function of the functional spinal unit except motion. Problems with PLIF have included excessive bleeding (usually epidural), the need for donor bone (with risk of AIDS and hepatitis), prolonged healing time of donor bone, the difficulty of cutting precise bony channels, the difficulty of providing sterile donor bone of precise dimensions, the potential of instability, the risk of retropulsion of graft and consequent neural damage, and post-operative collapse of the donor bone and pseudarthrosis.


Pedicle Screw Interbody Fusion Disk Height Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Donor Bone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Brantigan
    • 1
  • Arthur D. Steffee
    • 2
  1. 1.Orthopaedic SurgeryCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Cleveland Spine and Arthritis CenterClevelandUSA

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