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The objective of this study was to establish the efficacy and safety of porous bioactive titanium metal for use in a spinal fusion device, based on a prospective human clinical trial. A high-strength spinal interbody fusion device was manufactured from porous titanium metal. A bioactive surface was produced by simple chemical and thermal treatment. Five patients with unstable lumbar spine disease were treated surgically using this device in a clinical trial approved by our Ethics Review Committee and the University Hospital Medical Information Network. Clinical and radiological results were reported at the minimum followup period of 1 year. The optimal mechanical strength and interconnected structure of the porous titanium metal were adjusted for the device. The whole surface of porous titanium metal was treated uniformly and its bioactive ability was confirmed before clinical use. Successful bony union was achieved in all cases within 6 months without the need for autologous iliac crest bone grafting. Two specific findings including an anchoring effect and gap filling were evident radiologically. All clinical parameters improved significantly after the operation and no adverse effects were encountered during the follow-up period. Although a larger and longer-term follow-up clinical study is mandatory to reach any firm conclusions, the study results show that this porous bioactive titanium metal is promising material for a spinal fusion device.


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