Radiographic and clinical outcomes of silicate-substituted calcium phosphate (SiCaP) bone grafts in spinal fusion: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Ethan Cottrill, Christine Premananthan, Zach Pennington, Jeff Ehresman, Nicholas Theodore, Daniel M. Sciubba, Timothy Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pseudarthrosis continues to affect a nontrivial proportion of spine fusion patients. Given its ties to poorer patient outcomes and high reoperation rates, there remains great interest in interventions aimed at reducing the rates of nonunion. Recently, silicate-substituted calcium phosphate (SiCaP) bone grafts have been suggested to improve fusion rates, yet there exists no systematic review of the body of evidence for SiCaP grafts. Here, we present the first such review along with a meta-analysis of the effect of SiCaP bone grafts on fusion rates. Using the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases, we queried the English-language literature for all studies examining the effect of SiCaPs on spinal fusion. Primary endpoints were: 1) radiographic fusion rate at last follow-up and 2) postoperative improvements in Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain scores and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) at last follow-up. Meta-analyses were performed for each endpoint using random effects. Ten articles (694 patients treated with SiCaP bone grafts) were included. Among SiCaP-treated patients, 93% achieved radiographic fusion (range: 79–100%), with comparable rates across subgroups. Meta-analysis of the three randomized controlled trials demonstrated no difference in fusion rates between SiCaP-treated patients and patients receiving grafts with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) (OR: 1.11; p = 0.83). Patients treated with SiCaP bone grafts experienced significant improvements in VAS back pain (-3.3 points), VAS leg pain (-4.8 points), and ODI (-31.6 points) by last follow-up (p < 0.001 for each). Additional high-quality research is needed to evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of SiCaP bone grafts in spinal fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Bone graft
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Silicate-substituted calcium phosphate
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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