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BMP Pain After Back Surgery

suzydssuzyd Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had back surgery on May 12th, 2010 and my Doctor used BMP as well as hardware. I remember waking up from the surgery knowing something was very wrong!! I had L5 S1 done w/hardware about 5 years ago and had no pain. But when my L1-L2 were done they could not get my pain under control. They sent me home anyway.
After 8 days of not able to take a deep breath and horrible pain I went to the ER. They couldn't find anything wrong, but I got lucky. The ER Doctor knew I was in horrible pain and admitted me. THANK GOD!!! They did a CT and found fluid around the hardware A LOT of fuild. They took me to X-ray and removed the fuild, but the pain was still there.
My Nero-Surgeon had no idea what could be causing my pain. After 6 days in the hospital on pain meds he finally went back in and removed the hardware and the BMP. I woke up and all my pain was GONE :D I asked my Doctor what he thought it was and he said the BMP!! If you are in major pain after a fusion you shouldn't be!! If they used BMP make them take it OUT!!!Don't allow your Doctor to tell you nothings wrong!!Suzanne


  • If in fact your surgeon said this to you, I believe he has done you -- and by you repeating it here and offering such foolhardy "advice" as to demand its removal -- and everyone who reads this a true disservice.

    BMP is a soft, spongy material that is used to pack fusion cages to serve as a matrix upon which new bone grows.

    Both my huband and I work in the operating room; he has worked on ortho and neuro spine cases for about 24 years. Neither of us has ever heard of BMP causing the intractible pain you described. Had any such cases been reported, trust me we would have been alerted immediately, and it would not be used as a regular part of fusion surgeries. No doctor would touch it.

    I am sorry for any pain you have undergone. However, before sounding an alarm to other laypersons like yourself (i.e., non-healthcare personnel), you would perhaps be wise to consult with another surgeon and perhaps a neurologist to explore possible medical conditions that might have caused your extreme post-surgical pain.

    If anyone is now upset or concerned after reading your post, I hope you will feel confident enough in your surgeon to bring it up with him/her.

    I wish the best for your recovery.

  • Did they replace the BMP with some other type of graft?
    I am just thinking, if they removed the hardware and the bone graft, what is holding you together? :jawdrop:

    I have heard of BMP causing overgrowth of bone and growing round the nerves on occasions, and then needing to be removed. Not heard of this problem with fluid before though.

    I am so sorry that you had this complication.
    I hope that you can move forward in your recovery now and will feel better very soon. :-)
  • I just wanted to mention that I had a TLIF at L5-S1 on February 2, 2010 and BMP was used. After a couple of rough weeks, not from BMP but from surgery, I returned to work on April 12th and was released, PRN, by my surgeon on April 30th as my fusion was almost filled in. My instructions were, do what your body tells you you can do.

    Returning to work was difficult at first as I was completely exhausted but it got better with each week and I returned to my normal schedule of 3 eight hour days and 2 four hour days by mid-May. I do still have those occaisional bad days where I don't want to get out of my recliner. I usually try to push through it and am lucky I have such flexible hours.

    I am so glad I was lucky enough to have a surgeon and hospital which uses BMP as I was a smoker for years and it turned out my bones were extremely soft, softer then my surgeon had anticipated. I often wonder if my outcome would have been this good without its use.

    Just wanted to post about a good outcome so anyone facing surgery where BMP is being used, isn't scared off. As I'm sure most people know, speak with your surgeon about your concerns and all of the risks and complications involved in the entire surgery.

  • You're right Gretchen, BMP is generally very successful in assisting our body to fuse and for most people, there are no problems. :-)
  • As someone who suffers from overgrowth from BMP, I wanted to set the record straight. BMP is a protein that promotes bone growth in the area of where its laid down. Occasionally, the protein will cause bone to grow in overdrive, so to speak. This additional bone will need to be removed. Note, I just said bone not BMP, because that substance is absorbed by the body in pretty short order and you are left with the formation of bone.

    I'd be interested in what Suzanne's Doctor did for her now that she has no disc (assuming that one) and no hardware.

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