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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Bmp?
Mar 23, 2005
[QUOTE=kaybee]Quietcook, I've heard you refer to it a bunch and I've done a search but don't have a clear understanding of it. Can anyone give me the basics of what BMP is?

Dh's neuro says he'll replace the disks at 3 levels during his PLIF at L4/5, L5/S1, and is considering L3/4 but doesn't like doing a three level interbody fusion. His report is a bit different from what was said in the appt. We heard 3 levels fused with disc replacement (not ADR, but what?), using bone from dh's vertebrae at those levels and the next two levels will have screws. Are the levels that are 'screwed' still considered a type of fusion? He mentioned using cages at the lower levels. Oh, and what does interbody mean? I understand the posterior part...

Of course all these questions come AFTER the appt. Searching the web is confusing cause everyone uses different vocabulary for the same issue. HELP![/QUOTE]

BMP is Bone Morphogenic Protein, and the newest is called BMP2. The simple version as my doc explains it is that it is like using the best super glue and mixing it with ground/crushed bone (he prefers from your own body and so do I). The BMP mix is much stronger than just your bone, especially if you have osteoporsis. Think of it like you have seen in home construction. The strongest beams that they use when building a big room, or maybe a carport are really long ones, but they are not a solid big plank. They are something like wood bits set in a sealant which makes it about 12 times stronger than a single plank of the same thickness. You will need to do your search using the full words with either a period or plus sign separating the words.

Now, as for the bone. My first fusion without BMP, they took bone from the hip paddle and it hurts worse than the back for several weeks. Luckily my doc had warned me and said I would really hate him the first couple of weeks. Thank goodness, with the BMP there is no need to do that if doing a laminectomy within the whole procedure. That is usually enough for the process, as a type of sponge is soaked in the mix and carefully placed with cages. That has been refined a lot too, as early on, BMP seeped out and caused problems when it got on nerves and the like. For that reason, my first BMP fusion, they went in anterior removing my intestines and doing the cages to the front of the spine so that if any seepage took place, it would be out into the body cavity where it was far less likely to cause problems. Now with further refinement, they use tubes or scopes in order to place the sponges and can do posteriorly without disturbing the intestines. However, I will have to say that my recovery on the anterior surgery was a lot easier than posterior, but I did worry that the handling of intestines they might get twisted or have a tear. Nothing happened and all was fine.

During all these when facing this last surgery in Dec, I was waiting for the testing to be completed using ADR with fusions, because until then they would not do ADR on anyone who had prior fusions. Finally they were doing it but I still didn't qualify even though my doc was doing the ADR. Don't recall from all my research whether there was a limit to the levels fused in order to have ADR. Still, I think it is wonderful if a person can have the ADR versus a 10 level fusion like I have. Not complaining, but it would be nice to be more flexible.

Now, there were no screws and rods to remove when I had the BMP fusions for three levels. There are different types of cages they use, and that might play a part in that as well as a doctor's own preference in how they do the surgery. But, with this big fusion, yes I have two rods, 18 screws and about 14 cages I could count when I saw the xray. Sounds and looks scary, but I am walking, I am going to keep doing and I have control of my lower organs and that is a blessing.

Sure hope this helps you and hubby understand a little more, and don't hesitate to ask any question. Someone here is bound to have some experience in most any area.

Hope you both are having a better day.

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