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My C6-7 fusion w/cadavir bone failed

Started by minnie-hinnie on 12/31/2010 11:00pm

I have been told recently that a CT showed my surgery 9 mths ago for a ruptured cervical disk was a failure. The reason may be my diabetes caused me not to heal well. I'm not sure what to believe. Both screws have broken and my body rejected the cadavir bone. My options for repairing the problem are to use either hip/pelvic bone for the graft, or BMP. I was also told the FDA banned the use of this substance in cervical spine surgery but not lumbar or thoracic fusions. My Surgeon is willing to use it in a private hospital setting for my surgery, if I want it. He gave me the choice of the 2 procedures. Both scare me. Any points of view would be appreciated.

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7 Responses


Were you using a cirvical bone stimulator during the 9 mts post op? My NS wasn't a big advocate (because he didn't see trials to proved that it worked), but did give my a scrip for it and insurance covered it. I'm only 4.5 mts post op from 2 level, C6-7-8. At the my 3 mts post op NS visit he said one is doing "better than average" the other is "on track". l used it 4 hrs a day for a couple of months post op. Might be worth a try, but i certainly can't comment on its use with broken screws. BJ


I would defenatley get a second and third opnion! I had a bike wreck last year and burst fractured c-7 cracked c-6 and t-1. c-7 is gone it's a spacer. it's all fused with a titanium plate and screws. at the time of my surgery, My wife was told she would bring me home in a wheel chair, If I was not a quad. three weeks later I started to move my toes! I am walking now!! What I am trying to say is there is hope!!! Go get another opinion.



Go for the bone graph from yourself it is more proven to work, because cadaver bone is basicly all dead cells. Nothing plastic would go in my neck. It might be painful because the rake it from your pelvic bone. You might also look into a new Dr. Unless you trust this one. Obviously offering an illegal surgery behind closed doors. Good luck with your decision, but there is always a possibility your insurance will pay for a replacement disc because you had a falure on a bone graph staneless steel only nothing plasttic.



The cadaver bone success rate of fusion is the same as your bone for one level. For 2 or more, your own bone is better. Typically with one level, they put a plastic spacer inbetween the vertebrae under distraction (spine pulled apart), and then pack it with the vertebrae bone that was cut and ground away to prepare for fusion. Then a plug of cadaver bone is inserted and the distraction is removed and a titanium plate is put on the front using 4-6 screws. I have no idea how someone could break a screw. I was in an auto accident 3 months post op and broke a vertebrae and didn't do any damage to any screws or the plate so breaking a screw is a huge thing.

Also remember that getting that bone from your iliac crest (hip) is a HUGE surgery. It is extremely painful and very disableing for a few weeks. There is a lot of risk for chronic pain in that site, infection, fractures and so on. I have done it both ways. The first time, 2 levels, no plate (they were not in use yet) and had to wear a collar for 4 months. The second time, cadaver bone, a plate, and no collar. I had almost zero pain the second time, the first time it was awful.

As long as you dont smoke, dont take steroids, nsaid drugs, and anything else-your dr says is a risk factor for non fusion, there is no way I would do one with my own bone. No way. It is no better at fusing and it makes the surgery one from relatively ease to extreme difficulty with severe pain and inabilty to walk due to pain. The pain is intense. Dont do it unless you absolutely have to.


i had the fusion using my own bone and no plate. Hip harvest site is very painful after surgery.VERY! However...... I have had great results for 6 1/2 years and no metal in my body. I have just recently started having the shoilder pain and arm tingling again and I am sure that this is from the disk below the fusion. Going to have a mri soon. I was pleased with the results using my own bone but the recovery is much longer and more painful. I felt it was worth it to increase my odds of sucessful fusion.


I am 8 months post fusion surgery to remove moderate compression. I had c5-7 fused using cadaver bone and I am still, using the bone stimulator daily. My injury was started by an accident in2007 and completed with the car accidentt may 2010. I was told to wear soft color until surgery 6 wks then I wore hard collar dor 6 weeks. Then since mid march I have repeatedly gone to ER
Now I have a problem with vertebra number 5 that is pushing up on the disc at c4/5
I am back to wearing the collar daily.
Anyway I am still waiting for my fusion to be complete. I use a bone stimulator daily.
My suggestion would be to go to another doctor for another opinion.
You only have one level. The FDA has approved use of artificial discs for c spine
Look it up


You have options!

Good luck


My doctor, board certified, will not use replacement disc. They degenerate. I used a peek vertebridge. Am pleased w/results. Polymer/titanium spacer, no plate. Get 2nd & third opinions. Talk to patiuents. Ask how many the dr did and outcomes. Ask about recovery/side effects. Also check with your state medical board. Good luck.

Also, I did not do hip graft. My own bone was used from the discectomy and was successful.