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artificial bone vs real bone in cervical fusion

Ann SAAnn S Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My Dr. wants to do an anterior cervical discectomy & fusion using artificial bone, not autograft or allograft. Does any one know if fusion is just as successful with this type of graft as with the real bone? I can't find any recent info on this. Please help.


  • My surgeon used a titanium cage with bone shaved from my c4-5 vertebre and artificial bone growth material. I am not fused yet so not sure how well it is working, but there has been a big reduction in pain since my surgery.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • My surgeon used a titanium cage and artificial discs- some kind of plastic. I was basically fused by my 3 month follow-up.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    Just to get more familiar with your upcoming procedure, take a look at:
    Cervical Surgery

    If you search through the forums here you will find a number of threads discussing the pros/cons of using your own bone graft, artificial, or cadaver.

    I had my two ACDF surgeries in 1994 and then in 2000. Both times, I opted for my own bone graft for the fusion material. Because it was multl-level, the need for a titanium bridge and screws was required.

    15 to 20 years ago, natural bone was the leading choice for fusion. Artificial materials have come a long way.

    It may come down to a personal choice, your own or manufactured.... Discuss all the pros/cons with your doctor.

    I will tell you that having your own bone harvested from your hip is painful. During my ACDF recovery, I had more discomfort from the harvest area than I did in my neck.

    Also take a look at:
    Artifical Disc Replacement

    Risks of Artificial Discs

    More good info on Cervical surgery and Fusion Material
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • What kind of artificial bone is he using? I have only heard about medtronic infuse, which now has a terrible reputation bc docs apparently the side effects. Another issue was that docs were supposedly getting paid to use it in the cervical spine, when it is only approved for lumbar and dental procedures.

  • I just had a fusion at c4 c 5 with titanium plate and donor bone two days ago the neurosurgeon said he hasn't used hip bone in over 2 years no one opts for it Anymore,why more pain for no added benefit was my choice good luck
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I had a two level with "Freeze Dried Cadavear" implants that at over 1.5 years didn't fuse. The entire procedure ++ had to be repeated as a 360.

    This time they harvested and used my own bone and I was fused at 6 weeks post.

    Anyone (barring infection) that says the harvest site hurt more than the actual surgical site (lumbar or cervical) I question their amount of pain from spinal pathology.

    IMHO - use your own bone ... its alive and your body already recognizes it.


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  • My 2 level acdf was done 7 days ago, C5-C7.

    I opted for using my own hip bone for the fusion, and surgeon said the choice was mine.
    Despite reading a lot on this forum before surgery, about how painful the hip bone graft would be, I have to say that I have not had any problems from it at all.

    It is healing fine. I have a scar about an inch long on the front of the hip, and basically no pain since the incision was done. The first day after surgery I had some burning pain at the site and felt pressure when I tried to stand.
    Thats it. The hip graft was for me, the least painful part of this process.

    Now Im anxious for the neck to heal as nicely.

    Best of luck with your decision.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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