Radiological analysis of titanium mesh cages used after corpectomy in the thoracic and lumbar spine: Minimum 3 years’ follow-up

Published online: Dec 30 2005

Oguz Karaeminogullari, Mehmet Tezer, Cagatay Ozturk, Fikri Erkal Bilen, Ufuk Talu, Azmi Hamzaoglu

From Bas¸kent University, Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Ankara, Turkey


This study analyses radiological outcome of titanium mesh cages used for anterior column support following corpectomy in the thoracic and lumbar spine in 34 patients with a minimum three-year follow-up. The aim of the study was to assess the complications and radiological outcomes of patients with structural cages implanted into the anterior column. Titanium mesh cages for the anterior column became popular for anterior column reconstruction following discectomy and corpectomy. Few clinical studies are published assessing their efficacy as a structural graft after corpectomy and factors for the development of settling and correction loss are not investigated enough. Thirty-four patients with minimum 3-year follow-up were analysed radiologically for correction achievement, cage settling and fusion inside the mesh cage. The effect of fixation technique, anatomical localisation and diagnosis for the development of settling were analysed. Measurements of preoperative and early postoperative local kyphotic angle revealed that a mean correction of 27° (range : 8 to 60) was obtained. While no dislodgement or fracture of titanium mesh cages was observed, there was a mean correction loss of 4° and settling (> 2 mm) was noted in 6 patients. Short posterior and only anterior instrumentation systems were associated with settling. The anatomical location and diagnosis did not affect the development of cage settling. Following corpectomy and mesh cage implantation, isolated anterior fixation or short posterior fixation do not provide enough stability,  and correction loss and settling can occur.