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Zimmer, Inc.

APEX Spine System

Product Description

By combining intuitive design with engineering excellence, the APEX Spine System sets a new standard in pedicle screw systems. The APEX Spine System was designed by industry leading spine surgeons and optimizes performance during surgery while providing intraoperative flexibility, allowing surgeons to effectively treat each complex spine and deformity patient’s unique needs.

The APEX Spine System is a comprehensive and versatile system of implants and instruments designed to safely and effectively treat patients with degenerative, complex and deformity pathologies. Comprehensive, Versatile, Optimized.


  • Complete implant offering with comprehensive range of sizes to treat degenerative, complex and deformity pathologies, providing optimal intraoperative flexibility
  • Third generation instruments designed and refined by industry leading surgeons for optimum usability and performance
  • APEX Spine System implants and instruments can be used with either 5.5 or 6.0mm rods
  • Custom deformity correction instruments designed to shorten procedure time and allow for controlled, safe correction of the deformity
  • Buttress thread set screws designed to prevent cross-threading
  • Titanium and Cobalt Chromium (CoCr) rod options available for rigid deformities
  • Low profile Cross Connectors provide versatile connection between rods regardless of orientation or level
  • Low profile and compact implant volume throughout the entire system allows for bone graft maximization and suitability for use in younger patients


Surgical Techniques and Related Guides

Device Description

The APEX Spine System consists of longitudinal rods, pedicle screws (monoaxial, polyaxial and bolt-type), cannulated pedicle screws (monoaxial and polyaxial), hooks, lateral connectors and transverse (cross) connectors.

The APEX Spine System components are available in titanium alloy conforming to ASTM F136 specifications. Rods are also available in Cobalt Chromium alloy conforming to ASTM F1537 specifications.

Refer to the Surgical Technique Manual for additional information on how to use this device. Contact your Zimmer Spine Sales Representative for a copy of the current Surgical Technique.


The APEX Spine System is intended to provide immobilization and stabilization of spinal segments in skeletally mature patients as an adjunct to fusion in the treatment of the following acute and chronic instabilities or deformities of the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine: severe spondylolisthesis (grades 3 and 4) of the L5-S1 vertebra; degenerative spondylolisthesis with objective evidence of neurologic impairment; fracture; dislocation; scoliosis; kyphosis; spinal tumor; and failed previous fusion (pseudo-arthrosis).

The APEX Spine System is also indicated for pedicle screw fixation for the treatment of severe spondylolisthesis (Grades 3 and 4) of the L5-S1 vertebra in skeletally mature patients receiving fusion by autogenous bone graft, with the device fixed or attached to the lumbar and sacral spine (levels of pedicle screw fixation are L3 to S1), and for whom the device is intended to be removed after solid fusion is attained.

The APEX Spine System is also a hook and sacral/iliac screw fixation system of the non-cervical spine indicated for degenerative disc disease (defined as discogenic back pain with degeneration of the disc confirmed by history and radiographic studies), spondylolisthesis, trauma (fracture and/or dislocation), spinal stenosis, deformities (scoliosis, lordosis and/or kyphosis), tumor, and previous failed fusion (pseudo-arthrosis).

When used in a percutaneous, posterior approach with AIM Spine MIS instrumentation, the APEX Spine System is intended for non-cervical pedicle fixation for the following indications: degenerative disc disease (defined as discogenic back pain with degeneration of the disc confirmed by history and radiographic studies), spondylolisthesis, trauma (i.e., fracture or dislocation), spinal stenosis, curvatures (i.e., scoliosis, kyphosis, and/or lordosis), tumor, pseudo-arthrosis, and failed previous fusion in skeletally mature patients . Levels of fixation are for the thoracic, lumbar and sacral spine.


Disease conditions that have been shown to be safely and predictably managed without the use of internal fixation devices are relative contraindications to the use of these devices. Active systemic infection or infection localized to the site of the proposed implantation are contraindications to implantation. Severe osteoporosis is a relative contraindication because it may prevent adequate fixation of spinal anchors and thus preclude the use of this or any other spinal instrumentation system. Any condition not described in the Indications for Use. Any entity or condition that totally precludes the possibility of fusion, i.e., cancer, kidney dialysis, or osteopenia is a relative contraindication.

Other relative contraindications include obesity, certain degenerative diseases, and foreign body sensitivity. In addition, the patient’s occupation or activity level or mental capacity may be relative contraindications to this surgery. Specifically, patients who because of their occupation or lifestyle, or because of conditions such as mental illness, alcoholism, or drug abuse, may place undue stresses on the implant during bony healing and may be at higher risk for implant failure. See also the WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS AND POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS CONCERNING TEMPORARY METALLIC INTERNAL FIXATION DEVICES section.


Following are specific warnings, precautions, and possible adverse effects that should be understood by the surgeon and explained to the patient. These warnings do not include all adverse effects that can occur with surgery in general, but are important considerations particular to metallic internal fixation devices. General surgical risks should be explained to the patient prior to surgery.


  1. CORRECT SELECTION OF THE IMPLANT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. The potential for satisfactory fixation is increased by the selection of the proper size, shape, and design of the implant. While proper selection can help minimize risks, the size and shape of human bones present limitations on the size, shape and strength of implants. Metallic internal fixation devices cannot withstand activity levels equal to those placed on normal healthy bone. No implant can be expected to withstand indefinitely the unsupported stress of full weight bearing.
  2. IMPLANTS CAN BREAK WHEN SUBJECTED TO THE INCREASED LOADING ASSOCIATED WITH DELAYED UNION OR NONUNION. Internal fixation appliances are load-sharing devices which are used to obtain alignment until normal healing occurs. If healing is delayed, or does not occur, the implant may eventually break due to metal fatigue. The degree or success of union, loads produced by weight bearing, and activity levels will, among other conditions, dictate the longevity of the implant. Notches, scratches or bending of the implant during the course of surgery may also contribute to early failure. Patients should be fully informed of the risks of implant failure.
  3. MIXING METALS CAN CAUSE CORROSION. There are many forms of corrosion damage and several of these occur on metals surgically implanted in humans. General or uniform corrosion is present on all implanted metals and alloys. The rate of corrosive attack on metal implant devices is usually very low due to the presence of passive surface films. Dissimilar metals in contact, such as titanium and stainless steel, accelerates the corrosion process of stainless steel and more rapid attack occurs. The presence of corrosion often accelerates fatigue fracture of implants. The amount of metal compounds released into the body system will also increase. Internal fixation devices, such as rods, hooks, etc., which come into contact with other metal objects, must be made from like or compatible metals.
  4. PATIENT SELECTION.In selecting patients for internal fixation devices, the following factors can be of extreme importance to the eventual success of the procedure:
    • The patient’s weight. An overweight or obese patient can produce loads on the device that can lead to failure of the appliance and the operation.
    • The patient’s occupation or activity. If the patient is involved in an occupation or activity that includes heavy lifting, muscle strain, twisting, repetitive bending, stooping, running, substantial walking, or manual labor, he/she should not return to these activities until the bone is fully healed. Even with full healing, the patient may not be able to return to these activities successfully.
    • A condition of senility, mental illness, alcoholism, or drug abuse. These conditions, among others, may cause the patient to ignore certain necessary limitations and precautions in the use of the appliance, leading to implant failure or other complications.
    • Certain degenerative diseases. In some cases, the progression of degenerative disease may be so advanced at the time of implantation that it may substantially decrease the expected useful life of the appliance. For such cases, orthopaedic devices can only be considered a delaying technique or temporary remedy.
    • Foreign body sensitivity. The surgeon is advised that no preoperative test can completely exclude the possibility of sensitivity or allergic reaction. Patients can develop sensitivity or allergy after implants have been in the body for a period of time.
    • Smoking. Patients who smoke have been observed to experience higher rates of pseudo-arthrosis following surgical procedures where bone graft is used. Additionally, smoking has been shown to cause diffuse degeneration of intervertebral discs. Progressive degeneration of adjacent segments caused by smoking can lead to late clinical failure (recurring pain) even after successful fusion and initial clinical improvement.


  1. SURGICAL IMPLANTS MUST NEVER BE REUSED. An explanted metal implant should never be reimplanted. Even though the device appears undamaged, it may have small defects and internal stress patterns which may lead to early breakage. Reusing an implant can potentially cause cross contamination. It is advised to utilize new implant of current design.
  2. CORRECT HANDLING OF THE IMPLANT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Contouring of metal implants should only be done with proper equipment. The operating surgeon should avoid any notching, scratching or reverse bending of the devices when contouring. Alterations will produce defects in surface finish and internal stresses which may become the focal point for eventual breakage of the implant. Bending of screws will significantly decrease the fatigue life and may cause failure.
  3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR REMOVAL OF THE IMPLANT AFTER HEALING. If the device is not removed after the completion of its intended use, any of the following complications may occur: (1) Corrosion, with localized tissue reaction or pain; (2) Migration of implant position resulting in injury; (3) Risk of additional injury from postoperative trauma; (4) Bending, loosening, and/or breakage, which could make removal impractical or difficult; (5) Pain, discomfort, or abnormal sensations due to the presence of the device; (6) Possible increased risk of infection; and (7) Bone loss due to stress shielding. The surgeon should carefully weigh the risks versus benefits when deciding whether to remove the implant. Implant removal should be followed by adequate postoperative management to avoid refracture. If the patient is older and has a low activity level, the surgeon may choose not to remove the implant thus eliminating the risks involved with a second surgery.
  4. ADEQUATELY INSTRUCT THE PATIENT. Postoperative care and the patient’s ability and willingness to follow instructions are among the most important aspects of successful bone healing. The patient must be made aware of the limitations of the implant, and instructed to limit and restrict physical activities, especially lifting and twisting motions and any type of sports participation. The patient should understand that a metallic implant is not as strong as normal healthy bone and could loosen, bend and/or break if excessive demands are placed on it, especially in the absence of complete bone healing. Implants displaced or damaged by improper activities may migrate and damage the nerves or blood vessels. An active, debilitated, or demented patient who cannot properly use weight-supporting devices may be particularly at risk during postoperative rehabilitation.
  5. CORRECT PLACEMENT OF ANTERIOR SPINAL IMPLANT. Due to the proximity of vascular and neurologic structures to the implantation site, there are risks of serious or fatal hemorrhage and risks of neurologic damage with the use of this product. Serious or fatal hemorrhage may occur if the great vessels are eroded or punctured during implantation or are subsequently damaged due to breakage of implants, migration of implants or if pulsatile erosion of the vessels occurs because of close apposition of the implants.
  6. IMPLANTS FATIGUE. Based on the fatigue testing results, the physician/surgeon should consider the levels of implantation, patient weight, patient activity level, other patient conditions, etc. which may impact the performance of the system.
  7. PREVIOUS SPINAL SURGERY. Patients with previous spinal surgery at the level(s) to be treated may have different clinical outcomes compared to those without a previous surgery.

Possible Adverse Effects

  1. Bending or fracture of implant
  2. Loosening of the implant
  3. Metal sensitivity or allergic reaction to a foreign body
  4. Infection, early or late
  5. Nonunion, delayed union
  6. Decrease in bone density due to stress shielding
  7. Pain, discomfort, or abnormal sensations due to the presence of the device
  8. Nerve damage due to surgical trauma or presence of the device. Neurological difficulties including bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, impotence, retrograde ejaculation, and paraesthesia
  9. Bursitis
  10. Paralysis
  11. Dural tears experienced during surgery could result in the need for further surgery for dural repair, a chronic CSF leak or fistula, and possible meningitis
  12. Death
  13. Vascular damage due to surgical trauma or presence of the device. Vascular damage could result in catastrophic or fatal bleeding. Malpositioned implants adjacent to large arteries or veins could erode these vessels and cause catastrophic bleeding in the late postoperative period
  14. Screw back out, possibly leading to implant loosening, and/or reoperation for device removal
  15. Damage to lymphatic vessels and/or lymphatic fluid exudation
  16. Spinal cord impingement or damage
  17. Fracture of bony structures
  18. Degenerative changes or instability in segments adjacent to fused vertebral levels