A new study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has found that the use of computed tomography (CT) imaging following spinal surgery has increased significantly. The study is the first to estimate the magnitude of CT imaging for the postoperative assessment of spinal surgery.
In response to this data, Simplify Medical have suggested that the use of their PEEK-on-ceramic cervical disc replacement could help to minimise the use of CT imaging following spinal surgery.
The study found that CT prevalence following complex spine surgery has increased more than two-fold from six months to five years, with patients averaging two scans over that period. Each CT scan has been estimated to deliver the equivalent radiation of 400 to 550 chest X-rays to the patient. The retrospective study used data drawn from a Humana database covering eight consecutive years from 2007 through 2014 and comprising adjudicated claims for more than 130,000 complex spine procedures.
The study authors state, “we detected a high frequency of CT utilisation following complex spine surgery. There is emerging evidence of an increased cancer risk due to ionising radiation exposure with CT. Thus, in the setting of complex spine surgery, actions to mitigate this risk should be considered…[including] adopting non-ferromagnetic implant biomaterials that facilitate MRI post-operatively.”
A press release issued by Simplify Medical argues that the company’s non-metal Simplify disc is just such a device, the use of which may minimise the need for post-surgical CT scans”. Composed of PEEK-on-ceramic materials, the Simplify disc is currently being studied in a non-randomised pivotal clinical trial in the USA, comparing one-level cervical implantation of the disc between C3 to C7 with cervical fusion surgery from a historical nonconcurrent control group. The study is currently enrolling participants.