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Clinical Outcomes of a Polyaxial Interspinous Fusion System

Joseph A. Sclafani MD,1 Kevin Liang Ph.D,1 Donna D. Ohnmeiss Dr. Med.,2 Charles Gordon MD3

1Milestone Research Organization, 2Texas Back Institute, 3Precision Spine Care



Early interspinous process fixation constructs utilize rigid fixation plates with immobile spikes which increase the difficulty of device implantation when anatomic variations are encountered. Second generation systems have been designed with polyaxial properties with the goal of accommodating natural osseous anatomic variations to achieve optimal implant placement and fixation integrity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients treated with this device to supplement the biomechanical data from previous studies.


A retrospective, non-randomized, single-center chart review at or beyond the one year postoperative time point was conducted to collect preoperative and perioperative data on patients treated with a polyaxial intraspinous fixation system. A postoperative numerical pain rating scale and modified MacNab classification score were obtained from each patient in the cohort via phone survey.


A total of 53 patients were included in the study. Median hospital stay was 2 days (range 1-7 days). There were no reported perioperative blood transfusions or cases of radiographic fracture/migration of the device at the 6 week post-operative time point. There was a significant improvement in pain index score in the overall patient study group and a satisfactory (excellent or good) MacNab result was obtained in 48% of all patients. Patients with preoperative pain scores greater than 8/10 reported more pain improvement than patients with preoperative pain scores less than 5 (0 points, p=0.96, n=8). Patients with a BMI less than 30 had significantly better MacNab outcome classifications than patients with a BMI greater than 30.


The polyaxial interspinous fusion system produces significant clinical improvement when employed to treat patients with stenosis, herniated disc, or low grade spondylolisthesis. This device can be implanted with a low complication rate and short postoperative hospital admission time. Patients with high pre-operative pain score and BMI under 30 can be predictors of better clinical outcome and should be considered prior to implantation.

Interspinous process fusion, clinical outcome, minimally invasive spine surgery
Volume 8 Article 35