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Does anyone know about fusion without ANY graft material?

Annie-mAAnnie-m Posts: 108
edited 01/01/2014 - 5:35 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my 2 week follow up yesterday for my posterior L4-L5 fusion. Prior to surgery the surgeon was going to use Allograft but I asked for Autograft. I found out yesterday that he used no graft material at all. What he did was to roughen up the bone to stimulate them to grow and used no used BMP either.

To be TOTALLY honest I was so deeply disappointed because I was hoping I would somehow fuse rapidly and be done with it all :( When I asked about the grafting he explained that he didn't want to do too much to the back side since I'd already had so much done to the front. I guess I'm also feel a bit down because I was pretty sure I'd be rid of this dang back brace sooner too. Actually it's not the brace but the restrictions.

Now my thought is that with no graft material it won't fuse fast and may take longer than 6 wks. I assume 6 wks because that's the length of the restriction. Does anyone have any experience or information about fusion without graft material.

Thanks, Anne
ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013


  • I haven't ever heard of "no" material being used. But for example my doc used the type that doesn't come from my body or anyone else's, it was some kind of bone growth stimulating substance he used. I don't know the exact kind used. But I fused up really well he says, and that's not using any actual bone graft per se, just the bone growth stimulation stuff. BTW as far as I know the fusion can take WAY longer than 6 weeks. It can take up to a year in even really great conditions. That's what I have read anyway. Mine fused in about 6 months or a little sooner so mine was actually faster than usual from what I have heard. Good luck with everything!
  • One more thing, I also have instrumentation of course.
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  • I asked my consultant about no bone fusions ..there would have been some bone mushed up and cages filled up and placed in the intervertebral spaces ..don't rush things it a massive operation that you have had and a fusion take a lot of time ..just stick with it ..try a TENS and heal and ice and get some decent meds from your doctor a rise and recline recliner is a must for back pain problems ..I live in mine sleep eat watch tv use the laptop ! ..its a must anyone that I have mentioned get a recliner to have thanked me and wished that they had bought one sooner ..check out the free adds there are many used but good some Harley used for sale .mine cost 1500 pounds my spare in the kitchen diner } only 50 pounds and its leather but not electrically adjustable.a good grabber is a good investment too try amazon
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • 99, this last fusion I had was only 4 percutaneous screws and 2 rods. Well and the roughed up bone surface LOL. If you get a chance to speak to your consultant I would great interested :) Hulaw2007 It's nice to hear about a quick fusion! I kind of got to thinking that even after I'm done with the "not so female chest friendly back brace" that eventually the bones have to grow around the rod. I would also assume that screws and rods won't move so the bones can't break right?

    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013
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