Retrospective study of posterior cervical fusions with rhBMP-2

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Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

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Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2; Cervical Vertebrae; Combined Modality Therapy; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pseudarthrosis; Recombinant Proteins; Retrospective Studies; Spinal Fractures; Spinal Fusion; Treatment Outcome


Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy


Posterior cervical decompression and fusion can be performed for various spinal conditions. Previous rates of pseudoarthrosis have been reported in up to 38% of patients. The use of bone morphogenic protein (BMP) has been approved for use in certain anterior lumbar interbody fusion techniques to decrease the incidence of pseudoarthrosis. Bone morphogenic protein in the anterior cervical spine carries a potential increased risk of airway complications; however, few data exist on the safety and efficacy of BMP in the posterior cervical spine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate fusion success, safety, and heterotopic bone formation using BMP in posterior cervical fusion.Twenty-nine patients who received posterior cervical fusion with BMP were followed for a minimum of 12 months. Computed tomography scans were obtained at a minimum of 12 months postoperatively to evaluate for solid arthrodesis and the presence of heterotopic bone formation. Patients' demographic data and adverse events were evaluated. All patients underwent posterior cervical decompression and instrumented fusion of at least 1 level between 2006 and 2008. Of 37 patients eligible for the study, 29 agreed to participate. Three (10.3%) of 29 patients developed pseudoarthrosis, as found on computed tomography scan. None of these went on to further surgery. No evidence existed of heterotopic bone formation outside of the lateral masses or bone growth over the spinal canal or neuroforamen. No adverse events were related to the use of BMP in this series of posterior cervical fusions. Bone morphogenic protein can be used safely in posterior cervical spine fusion, but additional larger studies are recommended. Even with the use of bone morphogenic protein, the possibility of pseudoarthrosis exists.

DOI of Published Version



Orthopedics. 2012 Jun;35(6):e895-8. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20120525-30. Link to article on publisher's site

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