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beachgirl01 01-13-2006 11:41 PM

Iliac Crest Bone Graft
Hey all,
My surgery was postponed by a month but I noticed on one of my forms that it said "Iliac Crest Graph". Does this mean that the surgeon is doing a bone graph from myself? I didn't think anything about it because I really didn't think that they did this much anymore due to the terrible side effects at the donor site. If anyone can offer any advice or info, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch. Kristy.

caszyman 01-14-2006 07:27 AM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
Sorry to hear your surgery was postponed a month. My daughter was to have the bone graph from the iliac crest. All along her surgeon and I talked about that because of her age they didn't use the bmp. So that's what I thought was happening. It was even on the papers I signed and then when he came out after surgery he told me they used allograph and mixed it with her bone from her laminectomy. I know your own bone is better, but this appears that it must be fusing since she is in no pain. We go back in Feb and hopefully we'll hear that she's fused. So she didn't end up with having to deal with the hip at all.

Good luck with your surgery. I hope it's very successful! cas

Quietcook 01-14-2006 03:24 PM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft

Iliac Crest Graph means that they will take plugs of bone from your hip. This was what was done with my first fusion in 1999, prior to BMP being approved for general use. I would encourage you to go to the spine universe web site that Bionic Witch provided the web address for in a post at the top of the boards. It is in a post about New info for lots of us. Excellent site, where you can research various conditions and surgeries of the spine.

Now, that said, I am not trying to frighten you at all, but help inform you. I will say that the hip hurts worse than the back surgery itself and will hurt for some time. After all, the doctor is literally cutting a plug of bone from the thicker part of the hip paddle.

I would also encourage you to find ask your doctor why they are NOT using BMP, which has been in wide use for several years now. It can be mixed with the ground bone from the laminectomy which is done to the levels being fused, therefore no need to take a plug of bone from the hip. BMP fuses in less than half the time than a fusion done with just bone like you are talking about, PLUS it heals much stronger than bone alone. The best I can explain it is that you've seen extra long beams in major construction, say a big recreation room being built. You probably noticed that it was made of chipped wood bits rather than a solid piece of wood. It is mixed with a super glue type product to hold those chips together and it is many time stronger than a solid wooden beam, so holds up much better and much longer. Well, that is exactly the way BMP mixed with our ground bone from a laminectomy works.

We don't plan on our bodies taking worse wear and tear, but it does happen. My second 3 level fusion was with BMP. Then I was involved in a minor wreck. The first fusion without BMP broke, the BMP did not. I had to undergo another fusion to redo the first one that was done without BMP and had taken over a year to heal. The BMP fusion was solid in about 5 months plus I didn't have to deal with the hip pain while I healed.

This is one reason I constantly encourage people having more than a herniation repair to seek out spine specialists instead fo general ortho or general neuro surgeons.

All that being the case, still it is good that your doctor plans on using your own bone rather than donor bone. It gives you the edge for healing, but even so, successful fusing is still considerably greater when BMP is used. In those cases, failure runs 2 percent or less and the majority of those which fail are reportedly those with donor or allograph bone rather than the patients bone.

Hope you will let us know how you are doing after your surgery. Best wishes.

Losy 01-16-2006 05:48 AM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
i dont want you to read this and panic but i am 15 years post op and the only pain i still experience comes from the bone donor site - the illiac crest. I have spoken with many people who have had similar experiences. As previously stated by others, post surgery i found that the donor site was more painful than the fusion site. The bone is removed from an area where 3 or ist it 4 muscles join, hence the pain and slow recovery of the site. I experience bouts of pain as a result of scar tissue tears in that region and have injections (cortisone) and meds to manage it..

I to would encourage you to explore your options and discuss with your dr the size of bone he will be taking. Back surgery is traumatic and adding a bone graft is a complication i could have well done without.

What you also need to remember is that those of us who use the forum have generaly had a bad back related experiences. There will be many who have had succesful surgery and had little if any problem post operatively.

good luck and keep us informed

losy :eek:

Haw'nCarl 01-17-2006 04:12 AM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
Aloha all,

I guess I’m from the camp on the other side of the lake.

Your question about the where’s and why’s of the dreaded “Iliac Crest Graph” have been adequately answered, however, I take exception to some of the statements given to you for which you are to peruse for an informed decision, or at least put you at ease with what you may be going through in a week or so. My God, I would be terrified after reading what was posted, that is if this was all I had read about the subject.

The data which I scrutinized reflected much different failure rates for BMP than was presented by my esteemed pen mate in an earlier post; however, I by no means want to get into a sparring match. My personal opinion is that there is nothing better than your own bone, this is one of the many reasons surgeons still use it, and needless to say, this is what was used in my surgery. I was showing significant fusion progress after only 4 months, and I experienced very little pain and have absolutely no problems or pain now, two years post op. They harvested bone from three separate sites from both sides of my pelvis, I had a three level fusion and I guess they needed a lot of material (they used six cages, two per level).

Anyway, welcome to the good back related experience camp Kristy! While everyone is different, and will experience different practices, procedures, and outcomes, everyone should still be diligent with their research. There is a lot of information to be had, and you should not rely on only one source, especially if it is a forum that only has people posting about bad experiences. Like I had said in an earlier post, it has been quite a while since I posted, but when I was active, there was an abundance of positive stories to be had. Also, my surgeon actually set up several (4) meetings with previous patients of his that had similar surgeries for me to ask questions to, very interesting and no negative feedback, (I know, very unscientific, but it did help me considerably). I read many books, studies, and there is a plethora of information on the internet as we all know.

I would like to reiterate that my experience has been what I would consider to be very successful; I would also consider it to be the rule rather than an exception as far as back surgery is concerned. Granted, there are horror stories out there, but as far as I am concerned, those are the exception to the rule.

People who are getting ready to go under the knife need all of the encouragement and words of wisdom that they can get. Having said that, reality is, is that surgery is painful, there is no getting around that, but there is life after surgery, more so than a forum similar to this one may represent if you only read the negative outcomes.

People like me (a success story), tend to kind of get on with our lives after we start feeling better and forget to repay and post about our successes and forget what we received at this forum (or at least what I received) in my time of need, and that is positive, encouraging words and a shoulder to rant on when I needed it. So, most people looking for the success stories can’t find them because the success stories are living their lives oblivious to the fact that people like Kristy need to hear from us. That is what brought me back tonight. Long live the strong shoulder!

So sorry for carrying on, let the flames begin. Just hang in there Kristy, you’ll be OK.


Losy 01-17-2006 04:42 AM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
I was pleased to hear someone give an opinon from the other side of the lake so to speak. As I clearly stated forums such as this attract those seeking help, many of whom have had a dificult times that prevent then from living a normal life. Its a pity that someone who has had a succesful outcome with a bone graft, saw fit to belittle the opinions of others - I think that constitutes a sparring match Carl!!!. Have your own opinion and share your experience but remember to respect those of others. :nono: :jester:

It was certainly not my intention to discourage or leave you feeling at a loss. However I can only share by experience and unfortunately that has not been a positive one. There are always 2 sides to a coin hence my suggestion that you undertake further research and discuss your surgery in detail with your surgeon.

While I experience pain I still live a near normal life but there are interuptions as a result of the graft site that I find frustrating and difficult to deal with. Last year was not a good year however I managed to work part time (teacher). Prior to last year I had 4 good years managing to work full time prior to returning to Uni to undertake a teaching diploma.

Good luck and keep and open mind - a coin has 2

Haw'nCarl 01-17-2006 05:05 PM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
Aloha all,

Here we go. Losy, I defy you to point out where I belittled or disrespected anyone here, if you feel that way, I apologize as it was not my intention to do anything but present a different, more positive view and [U]experience[/U] for someone who is trying to gather information from other’s experience’s, so she can make an informed life altering decision. On the contrary, I felt that I was more than respectful by the restraint that I demonstrated by not pointing out all of the other discrepancies and contradictions that I read. I do not know why you took my post so personal Losy, I did not personally attack you, nor did I call you a belittler or call you disrespectful or pitiful. These are tactless, insensitive, counterproductive and baseless charges. I would expect more from an educated person such as yourself, and a teacher no less (I hope you are not an English teacher), but since you are determined to turn this into a sparring match, let me point out some of your discrepancies and/or contradictions.

You start out in you first post with this [QUOTE=Losy]i dont want you to read this and panic but[/QUOTE]…but…Why do people always write something apologetic only to put a but at the end? You went on to say that you are 15 years post op and the only pain and the worst pain you have now comes from the donor site. Yikes! You didn’t expound on your assertion with how old you are, how much of that pain may be from normal age wear and tear, or a product of the different mechanics your body now has as a result of your 15 year old surgery, or, other ailments or maladies such as arthritis, bursitis, sedentary life, obesity, the list goes on and on. With that post you outright suggested she not have her own bone harvested. That in my opinion is irresponsible. With that one post, she may make up her mind not to have that procedure and go with BMP or other media and subsequently have to have additional surgeries to correct those failures because they were rejected by her body or they didn’t take, all because of your one post. It is one thing to share personal experiences, and "opinions" as you so eloquently put it, it is another to try and sway, or force your "opinion" on someone, which [I]clearly you did [/I],[QUOTE=Losy]adding a bone graft is a complication i could have well done without.[/QUOTE]
based on your 15 year old surgery! I could go on for pages on how far Back surgery has come in just the last five years, let alone 15! As it is with human nature, we sometimes will likely be more moved by someone else’s personal experience rather than that of our doctors’ recommendations, or actual factual data... If I were Kristy, I would not want them harvesting my bone after reading your post.

Ok, now let me dissect your flaming second post which was directed at me. [QUOTE=Losy]As I clearly stated forums such as this attract those seeking help, many of whom have had a dificult times that prevent then from living a normal life.[/QUOTE] Let me refresh your memory as to how you [I][U]clearly[/U][/I] stated your case. [QUOTE=Losy]What you also need to remember is that those of us who use the forum have generaly had a bad back related experiences. [/QUOTE] What was [U][I]clear[/I][/U] to me, and what I got out of that statement, was those who use this forum have only had a bad experience with back surgery, [U][I]clearly[/I][/U]! But what I found curious was right after that you said, [QUOTE=Losy] There will be many who have had succesful surgery and had little if any problem post operatively.[/QUOTE] (I did not take points off for grammar or spelling) So, I will commend you for that positive statement.

So the moral of this story is, is that there are positive outcomes, there are success stories, this is a wonderful board with lots of caring, knowledgeable and compassionate people willing to share their experiences without attacking the other posters by calling them disrespectful, and pitiful when it is unwarranted. Losy, I hope you take your own advice and keep an open mind, and respect the opinions of others and leave your reprisals for your own students, and also be careful with your posts.

I will be curious to see you try and back up your accusations that I disrespected or belittled any one here, because I didn't, unfortunately, I can not say the same for you.


P.S. As you can see, you did not leave me "feeling at a loss" :D

Losy 01-17-2006 06:16 PM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
1. I am in my 30's
2. I am 183 cm tall and am 81kg
3. I never said Kristy should not have a bone graft. What I said was that a bone graft was a complication I couuld well have done without - the emphasis on the "I "
4. My general health is excellent. recent scans indicated that the fusion was solid and there was no inpingement on the nerves at each level of my lumber spine - the only problems I experience are according to my GP, neurologist and surgeon, related to the donor site
5. When stating that there are many who have had succcesful surgery I was referring to those who do not participate in online chat - ie like yourself who stated that you dont contribute on a regular basis- "it has been quite a while since I posted" I have read very few positive fusion stories involving bone grafting
6. Its a forum in which you are entitled to post opinions, thoughts feelings and emotions
7. "than was presented by my esteemed pen mate in an earlier posts " a tad sarcastic from where I and several of my friends sit - but perhaps we all missunderstood and took it pesonally - If that was not your intention I apologise. I will be more careful next time
8 Would you prefer Kristy only read posts about good back experiences and we delete those that are negative - she needs to be aware of the risks - the other posting I read also referred to a poor outcome.
9. Thanks for the commendation and as for spelling and grammer - who cares when u r posting at 1am because you cant sleep due to donor site inflamation and pain or at any other time when it comes to internet chat rooms. What I do in the classroom has little to do with what I say or how I post online - and FYI I am a primary school teacher who woks with students who exhibit challenging behaviours - perhaps you touched a nerve on a day that I experienced pain for the first time in soome weeks.
10 I wont be rading any further posts from this thread. I am on holidays and am not willing to duscuss the wrongs and rights of chat room posting
11 I am pleased that you Carl have had a succesful outcome and i genuinely wish you all the very best in the future. You have been very fortunate and I do wish I could say the same.

Good luck Kristy - u now have a number of opinions to consider as you prepare for and seek information in relation to your surgery.


beachgirl01 01-17-2006 11:43 PM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
I appreciate everybodys opinion whether it's "good" or "bad. However, really there is no good or bad opinion. I need to hear both sides and because everyone is different and every body is different nobody can expect one thing to work for every body. I appreciate your opinions and respect you very much. Thank you for taking the time to help me out.
My surgery has yet again been changed to next week! I'm very nervous but ecxcited at the same time. Thanks again all. Kristy.

Imarealpill 01-31-2011 06:43 PM

Re: Iliac Crest Bone Graft
My iliac crest is still sore, many years after my surgery.

However, I am much better for the surgery, as I'd be a cripple without it. I had no choice but to get the disc/fusion.

I don't have any complaints other than that. Im glad I had the fusion because people who don't have all kinds of troubles and failed back ops.

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