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Lumbar fusion with BMP

debbie276ddebbie276 Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My L1-S5 collasped and I am going to have a lumbar fusion. My surgeon said he will take bone from my back and use BMP. Has anyone had a lumbar fusion using only BMP ? Does he have to also use my own bone with BMP ? Has anyone had bone taken from their backs ?



  • I haven't had my surgery yet, but my Dr is using ONLY BMP... She said it works even better than your own bone. Said you can "grow hair on a bowling ball" with BMP. Lol. From all the research I've done as well, I hear BMP is the best.
  • Hi Debbie, Sorry to hear that you are in the position you face with having fusion. I am 6 weeks post-op and in all the reading and research I've done there seems to be a range of opinions on most back procedures including the use of BMP. My NS used the pieces of my own bone that he removed during the discktomy/laminectomy portion of my surgery. He felt like for me, it was the best choice as some of the other materials have higher rejection rates. Again you will likely hear many different anecdotes about what and how patient surgeries were done and what was used because every doctor has his/her way. Which ever way your doc uses, I hope it goes well for you and that the surgery is the answer you need for relief. Hang in there and keep us posted on how you do.
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  • Hello Debbie, I just had PLIF on Aug 5 at L4-5. My NS used my own bone that he removed to get to the disc space (laminectomy) as well as a cage and BMP. He swears by the BMP for obtaining a fusion. I am only 2 1/2 weeks out so too soon to know success or not. The bone from my back was bone he had to remove anyway, not anything extra. He doesn't believe in using hip bone, says it is too painful at the hip site, and not necessary. Good Luck, Sue
  • I had 3 levels done and the o/s used the laminectomy bone and BMP. The BMP as you have heard, seems to help with the fusion and give it a real kick start. It is also better to use your own bone from the laminectomy rather then from a graft as it saves you pain.
    Cadaver bone is the other option.

    Now I did have a few problems at about 8 weeks (am 14 weeks now) where I was getting more pain and had to go back onto pain meds. The O/S did a scan and said it was caused by the BMP was starting to fuse with my own vertebrae. He said it causes a temporary softening of the bone. But now all is good and I am coming odd the pain meds again.

    So all the best to you.

  • My doc used bone from my hip, spine, donor AND "bone putty"-would that be the same as BMP?
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  • Hi Debbie

    The first surgeon I talked to this month (I'm seeing another one next month) said he would use only BMP and it works great. When I told him I had heard that fusions take as much as a year to really fuse, he told me that with the BMP it can actually fuse within four months AND it's proven to be stronger. I was encouraged about that.

    Again, I'm seeing another surgeon for a second opinion, but after reading about BMP I have hope that I'm going down the right path to a pain-free life.

    This is a great site for information.

    Good luck Debbie!

    Diana (Norcal_Gal)
  • My surgery is scheduled for September 25th and my OS is using BMP only. He says that I should be fused totally by 4-6 months, no hardware either just cages. We will see about that!
    I just hope it goes ok.

  • I was told the same thing... That BMP is actually better than your own bone. Also stronger, and fuses faster. My Neurosurgeon specializes in brain surgery and spinal fusions... She is really, really good. She also uses plastic cages instead of metal, so that you can still have an MRI if you need it. Pretty sweet!
  • I have never heard of a two level fusion without hardware... What do you have to support you before the bone grafts fuse? I hope they are having you wear a brace for a few months! I'm only having a one level fusion, but they're doing cages, hardware, AND a brace. Maybe my Neuro is just REALLY thorough. Lol.
  • I had ALIF and PLIF a day apart and was fully fused at 8 weeks. I'm 54 years old. My job is really physical and I am on my feet 12 hours a day. I surf and have 7 and 2 year old daughters I am always picking up and romping with. I work in the movie industry on a Fox TV show.Lot's of heavy lifting.... stuff that is hard on backs.

    I am so glad I did the BMP...faster fusion, faster recovery, no ongoing pain from the hip bone use, no worries of any weirdness in cadaver bone etc etc.

    At one year post op my fusion is fully solid.....I am having the rear hardware out next Thursday.
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