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Cage Vs. Donor Bone Vs. Bone Graft

CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Saw my NS today. He explained the surgery he plans to do. He plans to do a two level anterior fusion using cages with my own bone ground up in the cages. I haven't read anything about this technology in any of the posts. Would like to hear from anyone who has had this or has any information about this that would help.


  • Sorry, I forgot to add that this would be two level anterior cervical fusion and a one level anterior lumbar fusion. Any info greatly appreciated!!
  • My surgeon did not use bone graph but the protein and the cages. So far the results have been good as far as bone growth. :)
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  • i just had a level one plif. and my os used the bone that he took from my back ground it up and put it in the cages and a protein strip to help bone growth. I seen him on the 5th and he said everything was on track. so, so far so good!
  • i had a 2 level fusion, my surgeon used cadaver bone. weird thing is....he didn't ask me first!!! I wasn't given the 3 options, he just did it! Freaked me out completely when i found out during my first post op visit! But, it's fusing really well @6 months. Almost complete.
    Good Luck!
  • My spine surgeon (not NS) used my rib for the bone graft for my 4/5 level fusion. T11-L3.
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  • For my PLIF, my NS used my own bone marrow punched out from my iliac crest (used same incision as the fusion) & then soaked Ortha-Vita strips in the marrow-mixture & used that combo to fill in around the disc cage & along the transverse process @ L4/5. Recent x-rays show good bone growth.

    But my iliac crest, where he punched out the bone, HURT like ^#&*&*& for a long time! Still does a bit, even after 7 months...

    I guess it's a surgeon-decision thing, altho from what I've read, your own hip bone material (or other area)is the Gold Standard....

    Intresting topic! Main goal is "fusion" so however you get there---I've heard of some NS' also using the ground-up laminae & spinious process bone they remove during the fusion surgery also. You can ask your NS to further explain.

    Best to you! When is your surgery scheduled?

  • I had a 2 level PLIF fusion using my own bone, cadaver and Bone growth hormone.

    There was a possible allergic reaction to the hormone (or it may have been a hemorrhage) in any case, my right leg started to go numb. It was a totally new symptom and it was spreading fast. my NS had to go back in, remove the hormone and explore a bit.

    Luckily the 2nd surgery halted the progression of the numbness. I stopped losing blood, my hematocrit started to come back up and the swelling in my right leg started to go down. It's still numb though.

    I am okay with it - I REALLY did NOT want to harvest bone from the iliac crest - heard too many long-lasting pain stories like Lakeside's.

    I'm just over 2 weeks out, so no news yet on fusion success or not. But I think I am doing very well, gaining strength every day and decreasing meds steadily.
  • Used my own bone and a cage during my lumbar fusion and cadaver bone during my cervical fusion.

    Christina :)
  • I had ALIF and PLIF a day apart. At 54 I am extremely active and work as a rigger in film and TV...lot's of tough work, heavy lifting, working high up, using machinery, lot's of extreme stuff, long days and I surf as well. He did the PLIF with the pedicle screws and PEEK rods to give the area even more strength because of all of that. He was the chief surgeon for the Raiders so he has excellent experience working on people who are very physical. I have two cages and he used the Bone Morphogenetic Protein. He applies some sort of sealant to keep the BMP contained so as to avoid BMP overgrowth.

    Anyway, I was fully fused at 8 weeks...incredibly fast growth...grafted all the way around all the way through.

    Of course even though the bone was totally grafted, it was still considered soft so I took it easy for about almost 9 months before he allowed me to surf again and introduce gym workouts etc etc Now, at 1 year, he considers the fusion hardened enough and is recommending we remove the hardware which is causing me some discomfort and pain.

    We are all different.....for me the BMP worked fantastically. He told me he did not like the iliac bone use because it causes a lot of pain for a long time in many patients and he does not like cadaver bone for a few reasons.

    I was nervous about the BMP but I am glad I went that way.
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