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Posted by Tweak on October 21, 2000 at 06:15:14:

In Reply to: Re: Fusion posted by Jill D on October 18, 2000 at 14:53:11:

Actually, I saw my Dr. today, and he showed me two plastic inserts that hw will use instaead of the BAK procedure. Newest yet I guess. He likes it, and he supposedly one of the best neurosurgeons in the Pacific Northwest. I've asked here a couple of times if anyone has any history with this Dr (Schlitt), with no response. Anyone? Thank you Jill,

: Hi Tweak - yes there are man-mad alternatives for use in lumbar fusion. One of the more recent is the BAK cages (BAK comes from the names of the two inventers, whose last names begin with B and K). They were approved by the FDA in the past few years (not sure exactly which year) for use in lumbar fusions, and maybe sometimes in thoracic (not sure about that), but not cervical, because cervical discs are smaller and don't bear the weight load that the lumbar discs do). In most studies I've read, the BAK cages have about a 92% success rate, which is a little higher than most other procedures. They are made of titanium, and look like fat hollow screws. The surgeon removes as much of the disc as he can, and puts two BAK cages in between the vertebrae, one on each side. The cages are first packed with bone, which can either come from your hip, or from donor (cadavar) bone. My surgeon used donor bone on me because it makes the procedure less invasive, and reduces the post-op pain. There is a VERY small reduction in fusion success when using donor bone, apparantly it is statistically insignificant, according to my doc. I have heard from several sources, that often the hip site where bone is harvested can be more painful than the main incision, so I was glad to forego that extra pain, and praying that my body will not reject the donor bone, which actually happens pretty seldom, as the bone is demineralized, steralized, and "everything else -ized" before they implant it into the cages. Hope this is helpful for you. If you want to find out more about the BAK cages, do a search on "BAK fusion" or "anterior lumbar interbody fusion with BAK". You'll be amazed at how much you will dig up. If I have time later, I will post some good websites I found regarding BAK. Take care, and God bless your day!
: Jill

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