Spinal metallosis: a systematic review

Yoni Goldenberg, Jin W. Tee, Cesar M. Salinas-La Rosa, Michael Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To document a rarely reported complication associated with spinal instrumentation and to evaluate the current literature on spinal metallosis and spinal metalloma. Methods: A local case report is presented. EBSCOhost, PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were used to conduct a systematic review for articles describing spinal metallosis and spinal metalloma. Results: A total of 836 articles were identified using the terms “metalloma” or “metallosis”. Exclusion of arthroplasty-related abstracts retrieved 46 articles of which 3 full text articles presenting spinal metalloma as a causative pathological finding responsible for neurological signs and symptoms in patients with previous spinal fusion instrumentation were reviewed. Our case is the first described with titanium-composed posterior instrumentation and fifth reported, demonstrating the phenomena of neurological symptoms and signs attributed directly to neural tissue compression by spinal metalloma after spinal instrumentation. Conclusion: Spinal metallosis can present weeks to years after spinal instrumentation surgery and is a potential cause of neural compression. This process appears to be independent of the instrument composition as metallosis has now been demonstrated in both titanium and stainless steel constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1473
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Metalloma
  • Metallosis
  • Posterior lumbar fusion
  • Spinal instrumentation
  • Spinal stenosis

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