Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are substances that are used in place of bone grafts for spinal fusions to stimulate bone growth. While BMPs are found naturally in the body, they can also be created in the lab. Eventhough BMPs are approved for use in spinal fusion surgeries, they cannot be used for cervical spinal procedures due to the possibility of adverse reactions that may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
There are a few types of BMPs. Recent research has shown one type in particular to be effective when treating chronic kidney disease.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins Benefits
There are multiple benefits to the surgical use of BMPs as opposed to bone grafts. Bone grafts may be harvested during a fusion from another part of the patient's body or from a donor bank. In either situation, there are potential complications to be considered that do not apply when using BMPs. Also, BMPs do not just serve as fillers, but actually help stimulate bone growth, yielding successful results.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins Disadvantages
Although BMPs represent advancement in bone fusion procedures, they do carry certain disadvantages. While there are allergic reactions that can sometimes be dangerous, these substances can also be costly. In addition, BMPs are a developing treatment, therefore their long-term side effects remain unknown. Currently, BMPs are contraindicated for pregnant women, children, and patients with tumors or infections adjacent to the surgical site.