I had a 2 level fusion with my own bone and I fused very well and it took around 2 1/2 months or 3 1/2 months for it to fuse. The Doctors (NS and OS) said that they were very happy witht he way it fused. I also used a Bone Growth Stimulator to aid in the Fusion. Hope this helped.
ACDF C5-C6-C7 W/OWN BONE TITANIUM PLATING 5 SCREWS 8/03/04 DORSAL SCS 6/09/05 RESEAT SCS 02/06. LUMBAR DECOMPRESSION, AND SCS REPLACEMENT 05/14/08, LUMBAR FLUID REMOVAL 06/13/08
The answer seems to depend on who you talk to! Some docs believe that the gold standard is own bone however many people have a lot of problems with pain and healing at the donor site. I had donor bone for a two level fusion and failed to fuse totally at one level and partially at the other.
When I had a posterior fusion I was going to use my own bone but the surgeon used a combination of my own bone taken locally from the spinous processes mixed up with BMP which seems to have worked well. However, I don't think bmp is officially approved for all situations although many surgeons use it.
Thanks for such a quick response. Then my question is for donor bone how long was the healing from the bone retrieval and was it painful? And with donor bone was the healing time faster?
I ask since I am trying to figure out how long I'll be off work (mind you I want to be off as long as possibe as I have a 2 mo old I want to spend more time with) and this is workman's comp. My OS makes it sound like I will be back at work in 2 weeks. My duties at work have changed and I will either be dispatching or working on a computer. So I would think the time frame would be at least 4-6 weeks.
Aznativ- I remember when I had a posterior decompression done at C6-7 in 2003 my NS told me that the disks above and below may weaken. As is the case now I have a central stenosis with bonespur and hernation (to 6.5mm) and a herniation at C7-T1. So my guess is that yes that could be why you now have a spur growing below your surgical location.
I think anyone in otherwise good health would be wise to use the allograft as it eliminates the possible complictions of a donor site. BMP and now BMP2 help fusion, but my Neurosurgon says he does not use it in Cervical Spine. The complication is the cervical spine is smaller and BMP can spread causing bone growth where it is not wanted.
The risk of HIV or Hepatitis C from Donor Bone is supposedly 1-200,000 to 1-1,000,000
Nobody wants to be the "1". So there is risk. But supposedly with the newer sterilization methods this is a moot point. But whenever I ask where the donor bone comes from no one can answer me.
I also read that it is not a bad idea to bank some of your own blood prior to surgery but no surgeon has ever told me this.
Finally depending on the technique and proceedure - cages, plating, etc. they can actually get enough bone material from the proceedure to not have to harvest bone.
I am fascinated by Dr. Schiffers site and have written them where he does Disectomy WITHOUT FUSION. They supposedly heal just fine and can actually leave more space for the nerves with out the danger of adjacent disc disease. In fact Dr. Schiffer has had this himself. So it may make you a bit shorter but eliminates the need for bone graft at all!
Too many options, too little - "this is the best option".
Keep in mind that Statistics include everyone who has surgery, so they include smokers, people with other diseases, people of all ages and genders. What is important is you consult with your doctor and evaluate your own personal health to determine what your best chance of success with fusion will be.
I used donor bone in 1989. It broke in 2002. The only way I'd use donor bone again is if it was plated or caged or something substantial. I have been told that in the late 80's and early 90's there were quality problems with the donor bone because of the fear of AIDS. All I know is that mine's broken, and they cant fix it with out putting my power of speech at severe risk. So I live with it. A new xray shows an osteophyte growing at the break site.
I am leaning towards using my own bone. I first thought donor bone but then I though about what bone heals best, I would think your own. I do not know much a but it though. I believe it comes from your hip? Does it hurt and for how long? I am in a holding pattern while my doctors incompetant help gets W/C to cover another MRI. They have been dragging their feet for weeks and I am slowly loosing patience. I wanted an idea of when before I go back work from maternity leave.