View Full Version : bone growth protein

04-06-2009, 10:34 PM
Hi everyone,

I am having my surgery in about 6 weeks and my dr. has told me that he is using bone growth protein instead of doing a bone graft. Has anyone else had this done? If so, is it as effective? Everyone else seems to have had a bone graft or has used a cadaver. Just wondered if there were any thoughts on this.


04-06-2009, 10:57 PM
Hi Allison...

Although it's not routine yet (because of insurance companies), if you do a search in these forums, you'll find a bunch of others who have had it used on them.

This study found BMP to be quite effective:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18725869?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum


04-07-2009, 01:10 AM
My surgeon used BMP, bone from my spine as well as donor bone. I was so relieved that I didn't require that extra incision. I'm 5 weeks post-op today so can't yet tell you how much of a success it's been. I have my fingers crossed for a good report at my 8 week visit.

04-07-2009, 01:21 AM
rhBMP-2 can be used in conjunction with autograft (harvested bone from your body) or allograft (cadaver bone).

I had the second combo in Feb 2008, and have fused with no issues. I was released from most restrictions at 4 months (even sprinting), and was allowed to go back to softball (and sliding) at 7 months.

I have pictures of how it's placed (from my surgery) if you're curious. Actually, I had my whole surgery photographed.


04-07-2009, 09:08 AM
I had both BMPs, cadaver bone and a bone graft. They used bmps on the both the anterior and posterior. :-)

04-07-2009, 09:32 AM
I also had BMP and cadaver bone. The Dr. told me they use both because the BMP is so expensive.

04-07-2009, 10:48 AM
I had both BMPs, cadaver bone and a bone graft. They used bmps on the both the anterior and posterior.


When you say "both BMP's", do you mean rhBMP-2 *and* rhBMP-7?

And are you saying your surgeon used harvested bone (autograft) *and* cadaver bone (allograft)? If so, why would he use both types of grafting material? If he used allograft at all, why not use it exclusively?

Allison, just a few details you may not know:

As Linda said, rhBMP-2 isn't FDA approved for the way scoliosis surgeons are using it, but it *is* approved for low lumbar fusions where PEEK cages are used around the vertebra. It's so far shown success in both scenarios, and while data on long term integrity of fusion isn't certain, it certainly produces a faster fusion by basically morphing non-bone forming cells into bone forming cells - and stimulating the production of bone formation.

The way it's used in scoliosis surgery (and again, I have photos of this) is fairly simple. After the rods are placed, sculpted in-situ, secured by the set plugs, the graft is performed: The vertebra are scraped to cause bleeding and later, ossification, and the fusion area is packed with whatever type of crushed bone the surgeon chooses. On top of all that, absorbable collagen sponges (ACS) soaked in rhBMP-2 are laid along the fusion and possibly packed with more bone.

It's pretty nifty stuff!


04-07-2009, 10:54 AM
I am having surgery in June. My doctor said he plans to use both autograft and allograft because they can take some bone from the vertebra during the surgery and then they use cadaver bone for the rest.

04-07-2009, 11:01 AM
Pam, sorry, that was a typo, I was going to say that I had both the allograft and autograft, in addition to the BMPs. As far as I know I only had the one type of BMP.
They said they intermix the allograft and the autograft so that it takes better and has less chance of rejection.
The way the anterior was described was "we take your bone and cadaver bone, pound it into a powder together, make a paste, and then fill in the 'cage' we are putting around your S1 to fuse try to correct that deformity and fuse it to your lower lumber discs"

Deformity being...my S1 looked as if half of it was planed off diagonally, without correcting this plus fusing to the pelvis, no matter what they did to the upper spine the S1 would send the lower part approx. 40 degrees to the right.
Hope all that sounded coherent. Pictures really help, unfortunately, I need to get a new set of mine. My PT wanted them for his records and the photocopies werent showing everything

04-07-2009, 03:30 PM

I am having my surgery April 15 and they are using BMP and bone grafting taken from the spinal lumbar area and mixing the 2. My Doc said that he has had great results doing it this way. I know others on the site who have had one or a combo of each. I think it's whatever the doc is most comfortable with. As you said one less incision and one less spot to hurt I would suspect! Ya...good luck with your surgery I am lucky because my surgery is being done at a military hospital and my doc can use any combination of approaches out there for scoliosis and fix my curve the best way for me the first time without any insurance stepping in and being a thorn in his side! !