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von dvvon d Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Well to anyone out there who is getting ready to have back fusion . DO NOT let them talk you into using BMP i'm having to have another back surgery do to BMP made by ccccc cages an Bone morphogenic protein . I had my back surgery on 7-14-08 . I had a alif with a artifical pro disc at l3 an l5s1 an l4 fused together using the bmp an carbon fiber cages.Now the bmp has grown around the nerve's in my back an the bmp has broken right down the center from front to back almost a straight line an in some spots it hasn't fully grown . So i would not advise anyone to use this stuff at all . I'm looking for anyone else out there that has had this same problem .I know that ernurse has but i can't find out how to get in touch ???? so if anyone out there can email me back with some advise i would appreciate it I don't want to drag my Dr thru court because he is a awesome Dr but i;m for sure going to go after ccccc. Well i will stop babbling on for know any input would be great Thank's an have a blessed one Von D

Edited to remove specific product name

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 07/31/09


  • Hi von d,

    What diagnostic tests were done to determine that the BMP is now growing on the nerve? I am very very interested because I had TLIF L5-S1 with BMP, the titanium screws,Cage the works.. May 2008 and I am having the same nerve pain prior to surgery. I was sent to an IME who told me he would NEVER use BMP because it can grow and grow in all the wrong places in your spine. (sounds like yours). This surgeon also told me by looking at my MRI, Xrays, etc that I am not fused and would NEVER fuse. I left his office crying and really upset with my NS.

    When I say my NS and told him this docs opinion he was livid and quoted how many he has done and that the BMP was not the problem. I had further tests, discogram and still have the existing herniation at L4-L5 but no further need to fuse. (this is what my NS wanted to do, extend my fusion.

    Well he now wants to "OPEN me up and explore.. I dont want this because I am afraid of further scar tissue. (Nerve has been damaged with three surgeries already).

    I am not sure if your situation, like mine is the nature of BMP, but I feel your frustration. Does the doctor agree that perhaps the BMP from SYNTHES was faulty?

    Well good luck and Please keep me posted.
  • Well Hello Diane my NS done every test under the sun 3d MRI 2 c/t s with contrast myelogram . An was fixing to have me rated for work comp when he said that we would do a thin slice c/t . So he set me up an i went back to see him he come in the room an put the film up on the wall an you could see the break all the way from front to back of the cages. An you could also see the over growth of the bmp in the back of both cages. He didn't say it was faulty or bad but was blown away an all he could say was that he was sorry an has used this on soooo many people an has never seen it break like this but he told me in the beginning that there may be some over growth that we may have to address I really like my NS he is very caring an will run test after test BUT we will see how he responds on my next visit i was by myself usually my wife go's with me . But i was so upset that i didn't really ask many questions i was just sick to my stomach . But the next visit we are going to have us a little pow wow over the bmb crap Von D
  • Check your PM's. Diane, I also didn't fuse with BMP-2. After 18 months and having hardware removed on one side(the side with the worst leg pain and huge BMP growth on L5-a complete boney tunnel compressing and flattening the nerve), I finally fused on one side.

    Hardware obscures so much on films that often the bone growth cannot be seen. Symptoms(like nerve pain coming back after surgery, especially in the 5-8 week postop range) and selective nerve root sleeve injections to diagnose nerve root compression can help.

    All my hardware is now out except the cages. The cages have some bone growing through them and if removed, would leave a void where there would be no bone at all and none would ever grow. Yeah, I followed all the rules, no NSAIDS for 6 months, non-smoker, no steroids, PT, vitamin, etc. but still never completely fused. I want the cages out because they still harbor a dormant infection from the first(fusion) surgery. Because of the infection, I ended up during a later surgery developing a full blown infection leading to emergency surgery to cut out necrotic tissue and a PICC line for 6 weeks for daily IV antibiotics.

    Diane-you said your surgeon wants to explore? Yeah, I know it creates more scar tissue, but the only way to 100% diagnose BMP overgrowth and to determine fusion status is to direct visualize the fusion mass. If he does exploratory surgery, he might see what is causing your nerve pain. This is just my opinion and from my experience, I am not an ortho or neuro nurse, but unfortunately I am a patient with a few complications under my belt.

    If your surgeon does diagnose BMP overgrowth, make sure you ask him to report it to the FDA database of adverse drug(biological) events. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm

    If you go to the FDA's search bar and enter BMP, you'll find many cases reported and their outcomes. This diagnosis is often under reported I think because doc's are afraid they will sometimes be held liable. Also, many people are never diagnosed because they just "accept" what they are told and live with it. On the FDA's site, if you search around, you can even find the warning pamphlet the government requires to be in the BMP kit that they mix up in the OR. It clearly states that BMP can cause bone overgrowth on nerve AND if the cages are overpacked with graft material and BMP, or too small, it can lead to non-fusion(pseudoarthrosis or pseudarthrosis.)

    In case you are wondering about my outcome: While cutting out that area of BMP on L5 did help my nerve pain some(I could live off Lyrica), it had been too long and the damage is permanent. But, I also had many other issues going on. My hardware was too large for me, I did not completely fuse, that whole infection business that I've got to live with(from the first surgery), etc. So I really am not a straight forward BMP overgrowth case, you can very well have a better outcome than me. I am getting a spinal cord stimulator, but only because I trust my clean up surgeon that all possible surgical measures have been done to salvage what I have left. Without this dr that believed me and is an expert in the field, I could have been paralyzed or dead(couldn't live with the nerve pain.) I found him by googling BMP overgrowth. Turns out he is the first guy(in a team) who did the first cervical ADR in the world and the first lumbar ADR in North America. Just a side note on him, that's all, he's very experienced! I am very lucky.

    Anyway, good luck to both of you. Please keep posting!!!! I am very interested in your recovery. Don't give up, keep pushing till you feel like you are at maximum medical improvement!!!!
  • Well i go back in the 24th for another surgery . To have the BMP cleaned up an get some metal screws rod's etc . You know it's sad because that's what i was trying to avoid . I just wished they could of used three of the Pro Disc artificial disc it's never been sore . So if all of you guys will keep my family an myself in your prayers please . It's so sad that your family has to suffer right along with us i'm sooooo blessed to have a great wife an family there support is awesome. Thanks Von D
  • I will certainly be thinking of you! As soon as you feel able, let us know how things went. I hope this brings you some relief.
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