✓ Methyl methacrylate (acrylic) was used in fusion techniques in 82 patients, most of whom had metastatic disease, between 1959 and 1979. In all cases the acrylic was used to supplement stabilization with Meurig-Williams stainless steel plates or with wire. In cases involving a decompressive laminectomy and excisional biopsy (radical resection of a tumor mass) that required posterior stabilization, acrylic helped to achieve rapid fusion with excellent results. The series included one anterior fusion with acrylic and nine atlantoaxial fusions in patients without tumors. Strict guidelines for selection of patients are outlined. The advantage of acrylic over bone fusion in selected patients is discussed. Careful follow-up studies including autopsy examinations are included. The technique of the use of acrylic is outlined.
There was no case of late instability. There was one instance of infection in a patient who was immunodeficient and in whom a combination acrylic and bone fusion was performed. Tissue reaction to the acrylic in autopsy specimens is discussed.