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Bone growth Agents (Bone Putty) Increases Spinal Surgery Costs - Study

Posted Jul 03 2009 2:06pm

The story has been out about some of the information on the benefits of spinal putty to enhance bone growth from one physician, but I can’t help image but think of this as being nothing but a benefit.  As the article states with spinal surgery, the other alternative is to use chips from a patient’s pelvic bone, so now we are cutting at 2 areas.  As long as the product does what it says it does, I think the extra expense is well worth it.  I have had a small amount place in my jaw with oral surgery and it worked fine.  BD 

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Products used to stimulate bone growth in spinal fusion surgery worsen the risk of complications and boost overall hospital costs, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

They said spinal fusion surgery using bone growth products such as those made by Medtronic Inc and Stryker Corp resulted in higher rates of complications than conventional spinal fusion procedures, and increased total hospital charges by 11 to 41 percent.

InFuse and Stryker's OP-1 Implant and OP-1 Putty contain recombinant, or genetically engineered, human bone morphogenetic protein or BMP, an artificial protein used to promote bone growth.

Medtronic spokeswoman Marybeth Thorsgaard said the JAMA study only looked at hospital-related costs and complications. " Other studies have demonstrated reduced complication rates and reduced associated costs with the use of BMP long term," she said by e-mail.

In conventional spinal fusion, surgeons fuse one or more vertebrae to reduce pain and stabilize the spine, using chips from a patient's pelvic bone. It is painful and can extend recovery time.

BMP allows doctors to perform the surgery without harvesting bone from the patient. 

Bone growth agents increase spine surgery costs | Health | Reuters

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