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Your own bone or donor bone

MazyMMazy Posts: 272
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Here's a question for neckies who have had ACDF. The recent thread about "putty" got me curious about the better way to go--your own bone or cadaver bone. I gotta do some research. Do you really have a better fusion with bone from your hip? All the nuerosurgeons I saw used cadaver bone. Is it worth the additional risk to endure the hip surgery? What do most of you guys with surgery experience have, and what are your opinions on this? Let me hear from ya'll. ---Mazy


  • I don' know about neck surgeries, but for lumbar fusions most docs seem to use either cadaver bone, bone from the hip or a mixture of these with synthetic bone. My own OS used the bone that came from the parts he removed from my vertebrae and I am very happy with this as I have no separate incision that would have been required to get the bone from the hip. Also I understand this is quite painful, in comparison I don't feel any different than if he would have used some bone compound. He also used some alografts but I have to find out if this came from cadaver or was synthetic.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I vote for your own bone, My donor bone failed to fuse and this was one of the reasons I had to have the whole shabang redone. Bone up and have them use your hip!(not really hip - iliac crest - pelvic girdle - at beltline) I had fusion at 6 weeks with my bone, when at 1.5 years with freeze dried irradiated cadaver bone I didn't.
    Hmmmmm! You think it through .... Want to risk non-union?

    My hip bone is connected to my neck bone!....

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  • Dont say that Metalneck, I have a cadaver bone in my neck C5-C6. Just the thought of having to redo everything up there makes me sick. :sick:

    Christina :)
  • I know of two different surgeons in my area that actually use scrapings from your facet joints and bone glue. That is the way that I will definitely have it done when it comes time for my fusion. Why risk having part of your hip bone removed? That is another site that infection can settle in and I have to believe that it would weaken your hip. May regret that as you age because elderly people already have fragile bones and it seems that the hip is the one that is usually broken. Just my thoughts on the matter.
  • If your having a one level fusion it is not as risky using cadaver bone. If you are a multi-level fusion there is a higher rate of non-fusion. I used my own bone on my first surgery and still ended up doing a revision surgery. I can tell you the revision surgery gold standard is posterior and the recovery much harder on the body. If you are a smoker I wouldn't chance using cadaver bone. I will tell you for the fourth surgery since already psuedo patient they used bmp for the fusion. Side effect of the bmp was a tremendous amount of swelling. Not good to have that amount of swelling in the neck. After the two times they have gotten bone from my hips i have had no issues. The hip pain worse than the neck pain at first but mine was resolved within a week. So for my I would take the hip bone and not risk the going back through the pain if at all possible.
  • I'm a spiney too. From what I understood it is better to use your own bone for faster healing and no rejection. I can't even tell where he took the bone from.

    That is one major reason why it's important to stop smoking so the grafts will take. I'm a smoker - had to stop one month prior, would have been longer but ended up being emergent surgery. Started again 2 months after surgery. Oh well that's another subject for later. LOL

    I will be thinking of you on your day.
  • I discussed this with my NS prior to surgery. He planned on using my own bone, cadaver bone if needed and bone growth hormone (BMP).

    I had read a lot of scare stories of pain after the iliac crest harvest site. It confirmed my choice of NS that his method was what I had decided was my favorite option.

    Now I'm on the other side of surgery and I may have had an allergic reaction to the BMP - which the NS went back in and cleaned out.

    I'm nervous about fusion, and will just have to wait it out and see what comes back in the MRIs over the next year.

    It's difficult to know at this point what is the best method. It's one debate I'll be watching closely
  • On spineys they usually use your own bone but on neckies they use cadaver bone alot more often.

    Christina :)
  • Ok gang, here's another question I have about bone. Is cadaver bone from humans? I've always assumed it is. I know someone who had bovine bone used in their jaw area so they could get dental implants. She was told that the bovine bone will eventually dissolve as her own bone fuses and grows. I don't think I would want anything but human bone.---Mazy
  • that it is human. I do not blame you I would only accept human bone also.
  • Really curious question - I am very curious as the BMP is bovine generated (bovine does mean cow, right? ;) )

  • Don't worry you won't start mooing or snorting.

    I think they use human bone but ask your doc. I'm sure with the make-up of the bone they would almost have to.
  • With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there
    Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I tend to agree with a lot of what tamtam has said. A single level fusion has a very high rate of success for fusion. However, when you get to three and four levels, the rate of non-union gets to a double digit percentage (I've seen varying reports).

    With my first surgery, I was not even given an option of whether to use cadaver or my own bone. It never even crossed my mind. Surgeon just told me he would be using cadaver bone in peek spacers. Well...we finally gave up on fusing, and I had a revision done 2.5 months ago for a non-union (also known as pseudo-arthrosis, simply means the bone didn't fuse to my own bone). You better bet I used my own bone this time around, and since it was a revision, the surgeon added some bmp. Believe me and tamtam, posterior is MUCH harder to recover from than anterior ACDF. My advice would always be to suck it up and endure a little hip pain to save yourself the pain of having to go through the whole thing all over again. But as always, discuss it with your doctor.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I learn a lot here. I'm grateful I have some place to go to ask questions that are on my mind. I'm not having surgery yet, but I think I'll need multi-levels according to the last N/S I saw. So, I may be going with my own bone. ---Mazy
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