Anne Mechteld Lehr
Clinical investigation of bone graft substitutes in spinal fusion: Insights from a randomized intrapatient controlled trial
Spinal fusion surgery is an established treatment for various spinal disorders, like deformities, fractures and degenerative diseases. Two or more vertebrae are connected with implants for stabilization. Mostly a bone graft from the pelvis is used to induce bone growth between the vertebrae. To avoid this extra bone harvesting procedure and guarantee the required amount of bone graft, over the past decades a lot of research on bone graft substitutes has been done. Synthetic ceramics with a specific composition, structure and resorbability closely mimic patient’s own bone (autograft). Although several bone graft substitutes are commercially available for spinal fusion, clinical evidence of their performance is still limited. This thesis addresses several challenges in the clinical investigation of bone graft substitutes in lumbar spinal fusion and describes the results of a clinical trial on the efficacy of a synthetic ceramic.