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BMP Information

MarkRMMarkR Posts: 172
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
In the past month, there have been a bunch of posts about BMP and potential problems associated with its use, such as more bone growth than expected including bone growing off nerves.

At my Thursday appointment, I asked the PA about the BMP used in my surgery. Specifically, I asked about what stops the bone growth. She said that in my case, the BMP is enclosed in a "bag" that was placed inside the cage (I don't remember what material the "bag" is made from). Unless something bad happens to the "bag" and it tears, the bone growth will be contained within it.

Based on this information, it will be difficult for me to experience problems reported in other threads.

Knowing this, if your surgeon talks to you about using BMP in your surgery, ask them specifically how the BMP will be used and if it will be completely enclosed in something. If it will be completely contained, there is less to worry about than if it is placed "loosely" at the fusion site without containment.


  • for asking this Mark. Thank you so much as it has given the rest of us something to ask our respecetive surgeons. :*

    I dont suppose you asked him what stops the bone growth from keeping growing?

    how did your appointment go?

    Sara O:)
  • great post=very helpful to know this! I'm with Sara; how does the BMP know when to stop stimulating bone growth?
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  • If you have Infuse, they reconstitute the bmp and soak it into a collagen sponge that is then place inside the cage. I have this but my NS also put some extra Infuse in my posteriorlateral gutter, along with connexus, and my own bone (in chunks and matchsticks). It says the match sticks were rolled up with the residual infuse and placed in the posterior lateral gutter. The chucks were mixed with connexus and placed over the L4-5 transverse process region. So now after some of the scarry posts I have read I am wondering how all of this stays in place. The cage is under tension so that makes sense, but all this loose stuff is concerning. I will have to ask. Interesting...
  • Technically, the BMP does not know when to stop the bone growth. With the method my surgeon used it doesn't matter, because the growth cannot expand beyond the "bag" the BMP was placed in. I think the bag is made of a material that allows the BMP to grow bone that can fuse to the vertebrae, but cannot grow into open spaces beyond the limits of the bag.

    The PA answered my question. I'll ask my surgeon directly at my next appointment for more specifics, but that won't be until November.

    Sara - I'll post about my appointment in the August/September Appointment Recovery thread, but everything seems to be going well.
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