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Long Term Issues from Adverse Reaction to rhBMP-2 Cervical Surgery

Started by TR42 on 03/16/2011 5:24am

I'd like to start the discussion with my question - I'd like to find professionals who have any information or can answer the question on long term affections or absorption rates and/or times on large doses of BMP in cervical surgeries, especially with self extracting drain less than 24 hours post op. Surgery May 31, 2008, tremendous autoimmune and spine issues since surgery. Fusion was not successful. Just had second PSF C3 - T1. Very good internist treating & studying me for metal toxins and metabolism.

This is a complicated and highly political topic, but I'm going to dive in. Three years ago, I had an ACDF C3-C7 with Infuse (thBMP -2) and Peek cages. A very well known and respected surgeon, used a very large dose of Infuse and my drain self extracted less than 24 hours post op. I am also highly intolerable to foreign substances inside my body. Of which the surgeon was told prior to the surgery, when questioned about the use of BMP by myself and my family. Without all of the long drawn out details - I ended up being discharged & readmitted due to critical swelling, chocking, a paralyzed epaglatis, paralyzed right vocal cord and aspiration pneumonia. I could not swallow anything, and aspirated when they tried to do a barium swallow test. A PEG feeding tube was inserted and I was sent home. The surgeon had no idea what caused the swelling post op and had never seen such a reaction from the BMP. A family member is a scientist who works in that field and quickly identified that to be the issue and e-mailed information to the doctors. Nothing helped of course, as it was too late and it was in my system.

My surgery was the last day of May 2008 and in July 2008 the Wall Street Journal came out with the article regarding the whistle blower case against Medtronics and the off label use of BMP in cervical cases. The cases they described were as if they were describing mine, and maybe I was the "feeding tube" case cited. In research I've done one of the doctor's who one of the highest paid by the Medtronics is one that shares an office with the surgeon who did my surgery. So I think he probably knew that it was risky to put that much BMP in my body, he must have, shouldn't he?? If I told him my body doesn't accept foreign material well and I have inflammation issues? But that was 3 years ago - and I am trying to live in the present.

The present - my life has never been the same. My paralysis did subside after three or four months, but other orthopedic, soft tissue and inflammation issues have plagued me ever since. I have never been out of pain since my surgery. For over a year and half I had such pain and no strength in my arms and hands I could barely use them. I've been treated like a crazy person. I have been tested for every immune disease, been diagnosed with full blown fibromyalgia, had an epicondilectomy where the tendon basically just died for no apparent reason, my spine and other joints are degenerating at such a rapid rate, at 53 years of age, I am having to live like I am in my 70s.My sciatica with bi-lateral entrapment in all five trigger points, is so bad sitting, standing walking, it is just painful. And to top it off my neck did not fuse THANK YOU INFUSE BMP so in November 2010 I had to undergo a second C3 - T1 PDF.

I have found only one research project on the absorption of rhBMP-2 and the it takes 18months to absorb into your body. My question for the professionals researches, or someone from Medtronics - is there more research? If not, this needs to be studied. Why?

Because surgeons are still pushing and using this product for cervical surgery and what happened to me can happen to them. My life as I knew it GONE! I am DISABLED! It is because of BMP - no one will convince me otherwise. It traveled down my spine, it was in my blood stream, it was in my liver, it was in my intestines - BMP was a toxin in my system and I was allergic to it. Yes, it may be one in 10,000, but I AM THE ONE! My recent surgeon tells me - I can use BMP in your posterior surgery - it won't cause a problem. I will be coping and showing him the Medtronics kit instructions which can be pulled right off of the internet which clearly states in the directions - DO NOT USE ON PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD ADVERSE REACTIONS TO BMP!

Please if anyone has done any research on long term affects of BMP. Let me know. My internist is trying everything he can to detox my body and has been for over nine months.


2004 - 2007 - Three Shoulder Surgeries
2008 -Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel
2008 -ACDF C3 - C7 - Critical Stenosis (Osteoarthritis)
2009 - Epicondilectomy
2011 - Posterior Fusion C3 - T1
Long recovery expected

L3 - S1 - Neurosis, Sciaticia - - - Waiting it out doing all I can for no surgery
Pain Management
Weekly Massage Therapy

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25 Responses


I also had rhbmp-2 used in my cervical fusion 3/04/09 . I had a sever reaction to this drug. I almost died with respiratory arrest 3 times. I could not swallow my own saliva much less breath. I could not swallow liquids for 7 days. My care had to removed from my surgeon by the hospital as my surgeon would not admit what was happening to me as real, she tried to discharge me everyday.
My wife had to be by my bed side 24/7 or I would have died. It took 10 days to be discharged from the hospital to home with a liquid diet for another month. I had to be trained on how to swallow, I could hardly speak. I had dysphagia, paralysis of one one of my vocal cords, extreme swelling of my neck, aspiration pneumonia and also exasperated barium liquids and tine bits of barium coated foods Pain in my arms and my left arm and hand now does not show any EMG response. I have a spur that grew rapidly into my spinal cord as a result of the rapid growth that rhBMP-2 promotes. I have severe ear ringing ever since surgery. To make matters worse some time during surgery or removal of the tubes from my nose my septum was torn. I still have chocking problems, hoarseness trying to speak and lots of arthritic like pain.
I have been trying to seek a Lawyer as recommend by my new surgeon as he feels the damage will continue to escalate I then will become totally paralyzed. The spur that is growing into my spinal cord is inoperable he has stated.
I hope your out come from your experience is better than mine. Please let me know how you are doing
Also if there are and attorney's reading this please contact me. It has been 2 years since my surgery.


I cannot believe it has been so long and I've just read your response. Since the recent news about the new risks I've been doing some further research and found my own old post. Could never believe that no one ever posted anything. You and I have EXACTLY the same symptoms! I had problems in my wrists and hands with no EMG response. Still have problems in my left hand, that the surgeon doesn't think will recover. I'm still not fused, am in constant pain in my neck and my lower back is going by the day. My surgeon would not believe anything was wrong on my first surgery either and his physicians assistant was exactly the same - tried to get me out the door every day. My speech pathologist is the one who was furious and said no way! Then I was put on a PEG feeding tube for 2 1/2 months. It has been a year since my last surgery and I need another CAT scan to see what is going on. I hope you are getting better. Now just need to worry about the Cancer Risk coupled with the CAT scan Risks...


How much bmp is a little or a lot.
For cerv fusion c34/5, 5/6, 6/7?



Any amount of BMP in cervical surgery is TOO MUCH! It is not approved for use in the cervical region and studies that were done were not complete. Please read Spine Journal June 28, 2011 articles. Do not let any doctor let you talk you into using this product.

There are so many people that have had cervical and lumbar surgeries in the past 10 years that have failed and people who are in so much pain and don't know why. Even the doctors don't know why. They are termed "failed back surgeries". Please do not use this product. It is NOT worth the risk.

I never was one to think I would be the one in a million. I wish it had been for the lottery...



Love to see others records where shown on mine, large kit, peek, came off stock floor
Hosp has stickies of meds used by nursing for billing, then doc signs off
I have been in terrible pain since, docs are irritated you are not over it
My cord compression's worsening faster than expected. Docs cannot imagine surgery so far away since oct o7... I wonder what other problems my way.
Dysphasia and start spitting as voice is tight. If u go for second opinion, go out of town,teach ing
Hosp not related to pharm companies. I suspect weight gain in throat causing it or doc says vocal chords close by
Tired of being a respected, well to do person,
Previously, now they notate my file "legal"... We just want to feel better and get truth. If their arms and else hurt all the time, no narcotics as they wear off...affects your marriage, job, friendships...when it happens once, they do not believe....someone has to be first symptom


I had ACDF Surgery Dec. 09. I also had another ACDF Revision surgery July 2011. Before the surgery in July I had numbness in my right hand. After I woke up from surgery I had severe pain in my left hand. I had no problems on the left side at all before surgery. Now I am having pain down the left side from my shoulder to my finger tips. I also have numbness in my right hand again. I am dropping things and weakness in both hands. I just had an MRI and I have bone growth or spurs from all areas of the last fusion surgery. I also have another ruptured disc at the level above the fusion. I am afraid with all of the bone spurs so fast after surgery that BMP might have been used. I have looked through paperwork but I can't find it. I am going for an EMG next week. If anyone can help please respond.


You aren't alone. I just found out that the ACDF fusion for myelopathy I had in 2011 probably had BMP used. I had an expert look at my opertive report and they believe so. I find this all very upsetting! I've had constant pain since surgery including numbness, arm & shoulder pain, and excruciating neck pain. My MRI from 11-2012 shows damage at every level. I have bone marrow edema under the fusion. ?? I've never had this. It's incredibly painful. I can't help but to believe it's all related to BMP. Have any of you had this or know about other adverse reactions? My doctors think I just have arthritis and I shouldn't be having pain. This whole thing scares me! I can't get anyone to help me. Is it usual to have spurs, disc herniations, and a retrolisthesis and an anterolisthesis at every level of my cervical spine now since surgery in 2011? I need help. No one will listen to me. They didn't even have a neurosurgeon look at my last MRI despite the fact I've had 2 fusions. Myelopathy is fairly serious. Is it usual practice that an osteopath reads and interprets your MRI? If anyone has any thoughts on this I'd appreciate it. For those of you who have had or may have had a BMP infuse bone graft look up infuse bone graft on the Internet and there's a wealth of info and help. There are people. Still using off label BMP in surgeries!!


Thank you to everyone sharing their "horror" stories ... without them, people wouldn't know what kinds of things to "look into" before agreeing to treatments, surgeries, etc.

My c-spine "issues" are fairly new, so I've been trying to read up on everything ... Mine are not at the point where surgery is being recommended or anything ... but I am still trying to arm myself with knowledge and education, so that I can make "informed" decisions, should I not respond to current non-surgical treatments and things get worse. I am grateful for everyone sharing their stories - I still don't even know what BMP, thBMP -2, ACDF, or "Peek cages" are ... I have to look them up, but at least your stories have provided a "starting point" for me. I was already scared to death of surgery and swear I won't do it ... so I will be praying for my healing, recovery, etc. more than ever, now.

I will also put all of you on my "prayer list" ... I truly feel for you in your suffering (the pain I've been experiencing is excruciating, I can't even imagine having to deal with other physical problems, on top of it - like you all have been doing). I hope you find answers, and more importantly, I hope some doctor somewhere will find a "remedy" for your situations. It is truly a shame the way you all got (and are still getting) treated, post-surgery and with the onset of all these problems that clearly demonstrate that BMP has severe side-effects. It is unconscienable for doctors to just "dismiss" patients who keep telling them "something's wrong!" I hope you all are able to keep us updated on your health status ....


I was happy to see that I'm not alone. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 months ago. ( I don't have it)The medication I was given for that made me worse!
PEEK cages were used on my C 5-6, C6-7 ACDF fusion. They can put BMP in them. BMP stands for bone morphogenic protein. Sometimes it's called rhBMP-2. It should never be used in " off label" use. I am hoping that the people who have posted are still here on this site. I was glad someone wrote back. :) I want to learn more about this and how everyone else is dealing with it.
I can relate to so many things people posted. I have choking fits, hoarseness, bad arm and shoulder pain. I told the dr. I had numb hands and I was told I probably had carpal tunnel syndrome and should sleep with wrist braces. Really?!!! I can't believe the stuff Ive been told. We could all write a book.
I find it frightening. With the increase in pain I was told I could go to biofeedback classes. It's so disheartening. I was a teacher before all this and now I can't work.
Best wishes for all during the holiday season! Keep us all updated.:)


Norskigirl, - I just read this about your surgery - one of the "side effects" of that surgery is problems swallowing (see bullet #4). This was taken from the site: www.yourspinalteam.com/cervicalinfo.html I also posted this article, because I thought it was interesting, and something else to look into:http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1230696-overview

Unfortunately, anterior cervical discretion and fusion (ACDF) has a number of unintended side effects. These include:

• The fusion fails to heal which means a second fusion may be needed

• With two or more vertebra fused (welded) together the patient has a chronic sense of stiffness or heaviness in the neck accompanied by loss of motion.

• This loss of motion leads to difficulties in activities of daily living. Patients often complain of stiffness, fatigue, pain at the base of the neck and a crunching sensation when moving the neck.

• Commonly, a plate and screws are used to secure the fusion. Unfortunately, the plate can affect the functioning of the esophagus and lead to difficulties in swallowing. About 47 percent of patients with ACDF have complaints of swallowing on a long term basis (this includes all cases from minor problems to the most severe problems)

• When two vertebra are fused (welded) together, the adjacent disks have to endure added stress leading to early deterioration. On many occasions, the discs next to the fusion will deteriorate requiring additional surgery.

• In order to fuse two or more vertebra together bone graft is needed. This bone graft can come from the patient however, having bone taken from one part of the body and placed in another can be quite painful and at times disabling. Cadaver bone or bone from the bone bank is commonly used however there have been occasions when tainted bone has been inadvertently implanted in patients leading to severe complications.

• Smokers tend to have increased difficulty healing of fusion compared to non smokers. With this increased difficulty in healing comes the increased incidence of repeat surgery to get the fusion to heal.

• Most patients after spinal fusion will wear a brace for two or three months and have significant restrictions placed upon them so as not to endanger healing of the fusion.

Total disc replacement avoids some of the problems of ACDF in that:

• There is no healing of the bones required precluding the risk of additional surgery

• Early motion of the neck is encouraged on the same day of surgery thereby greatly reducing the risk of stiffness and the accompanying complaints of fatigue, pain at the base of the neck and the crunching sensation noted in fusion patients.

• Basic science studies in the laboratory show there is no increase stress at the discs next to the disk replacement. Therefore the potential for additional surgery is less than with spinal fusion

• No brace is needed and restrictions are minimal

• Swallowing problems from mild to severe are about 15% in disk replacement patients compared to 47% in fusion patients

• There is no difference in results of smokers and non smokers

• No bone graft is harvested, therefore there is no risk of the pain associated with harvesting of bone graft and there is no increased risk of hepatitis or HIV compared to using cadaver bone graft in fusion surgery.

And if I were you, I'd keep trying different doctors until I found one that would seriously look into my symptoms and complaints (I need to do the same, myself). They always tell you that you have "fibromyalgia" when they can't figure out what's wrong, or don't "feel" like you really have anything wrong. I've had pain in my shoulders (severe pain) for 3 years - my rheumatologist (who now says I don't even have RA!!!) wouldn't send me for an MRI of my shoulders after "his examination" of them and x-rays failed to show anything. A month later, when I started developing addition arm pain, the orthopedic doctor eventually got around to sending me for MRIs of my shoulder and c-spine, and low-and-behold - what do you know - I have AC Joint arthrosis!!! AND I have 2 partial tendon tears, to boot!!! My RA doctor only said "it's not RA" and NEVER gave me ANY other possible diagnosis, or suggestions as to where else I can go to check for other things!! (arthrosis is due to osteoarthritis - which is a diagnosis he has given me in the past, also!!! Go figure ...)

That's why I say we have to be our own "detectives" where our health is concerned, and keep searching until we find answers. I have been finding several other things going on in my body (like several blood tests coming back with elevated calcium levels) that many times "overlap" - and can all be involved in several things going on in my body ... I just have to keep searching, sort them all out, and put them altogether ... and I SWEAR I will!! Some things are due to imbalances in minerals in our bodies, etc. which I still want to have checked out (I have a lot of symptoms of too much copper). I am willing to try anything to see if the symptoms will go away!! Look at every possibility, and leave no stone unturned!!

Get a new orthopedist - if you're having pain and/or numbness in your arms/hands - something is still wrong!!! (that's what happened to me - and the MRI showed a few bulging discs, with osteophyte complexes (another symptom of osteoarthritis) and varying degrees of facet joint and foraminal narrowing, etc..) That was causing the "nerve root" pain that shot down my arm all the way to my fingers. If that's what you're experiencing, then you need to get a doctor who will look at the possibilty of pinched nerves and all other kinds of "nerve-related" problems. Keep googling things along the lines of "nerve root problems in cervical spine" etc. ...If I see any other articles I think you might want to read, I'll pass them along .... PLEASE get different doctors!!!


Oh, one more thing, Norskigirl - I, too, have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - in both wrists/hands. Well, had it in my left - I had the surgery to correct it back in 2006. But at that time, the EMG showed that it wasn't as severe in my right (which is true).

Have you had an EMG done? (neurologists do them, I think). That will tell if there is any nerve damage or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. They will ask you what kind of symptoms you are having before doing the tests (be specific, and tell him everything!!) The doc who did my EMG a month ago said I had no nerve damage, but did have mild to moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (which I already knew). But because of my symptoms (couldn't turn my head very far to the right without pain), he told my ortho doctor that an MRI of my cervical spine was recommended. So even though I had no nerve DAMAGE, I still had "pinched" nerves from the other problems going on.

Carpal Tunnel has very specific symptoms - the tingling/numbness only affects the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ONLY HALF of the ring finger - I know that sounds weird, but it's true - I testing the "feeling" on my ring finger, myself (before the surgery) - and sure enough, it was only the half of the finger that touches the middle finger that had the numbness/pins-and-needles feeling - the other half had completely normal sensation. If you have numbness/tingling in the other half of your ring finger and pinky finger, that is symptomatic of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Go to any website of doctors who specialize in hand surgery, and find one that gives definitions of all the possible "diagnoses" for the symptoms you are having (many sites also include symptomatology of the elbow, too).

So if you don't have the above SPECIFIC symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then that doctor who told you that doesn't know what he/she is talking about. Or it will confirm that that could be a possibility, and you need to go see a hand surgeon. I hope this additional info helps you!


E patient, thank you so very much for the detailed and thoughtful response. The article was very interesting and. I will look into the links you suggested. Without naming insurance, etc. I am very frustrated. My primary doctor who is an osteopath (nothing wrong with that but they aren't spine experts) ordered the MRI. I hope I don't repeat myself because I can't see my other posts. :) She wouldn't read the 1st MRI in 2010 and referred me to the neurosurgeon. Now she just says," you have arthritis. I can't help you any more with the pain and nothing should be causing you pain based on the MRI". I looked up everything on that MRI. Reactive bone marrow edema is extremely painful and it's directly under my fusion in the facet joints. Everything I've read about it doesn't say it's a good thing. I also don't know why my dr won't go over the MRI with me? I'm stuck. I'm in an HMO. I'm looking into getting an expert like you suggested to review my MRI and get a 2nd opinion. That's $200. That'll take me a while to save that.
A big thank you your way for taking time to respond.


Thank you E patient for the info about Carpal Tunnel. I mean no disrespect when I said I don't think I have it. I've had trouble with my feet and later on - my hand going numb. Your information was thorough and explained everything easily. I had an EMG for my lumbar fusion and have nerve damage in my L 4-5. I'm not surprised about that. I'll check into an EMG for the hand numbness. Thanks for explaining where the numbness is, etc. That was the most thorough explanation yet.
I'm sorry you have to go through this. It is nice that other scan share their experience, strength, and hope with each other.
Thank you!!


Iron Spine 3, well said and excellent advice! This is serious business and we all need to take it as such. I've seen my operative report but I need to obtain a few other documents. I agree 100%! We need to take action and not be victims! If anyone has an idea that BMP or infuse bone Graft was used, please look into further. You must be proactive in your health care. This is extremely serious. Just look up infuse bone graft on the Internet and you'll get a wealth of information.
Thanks again to another wonderful post by someone in this great community. It is great to know we aren't alone. Please post anything if anyone finds out anything further about BMP, infuse bone graft, etc.


I actually had two of these from Medtronic since they fused two levels. I know I didn't have a bone graft harvested from me as they are very painful. I have also been told that if you look at your medical / hospital records that if infuse was used it is quite expensive. You seem very knowledgeable about all of this. I've been doing research ever since I learned about infuse bone grafts, BMP, and the host of problems that can come from this. I'm interested in hearing what side effects other people are having. The lawyers have been the most helpful in telling me about off label use of Infuse. I hope for everyone out there to be your won advocate, educate yourself, and I'm thinking positive thoughts for all.


Norskigirl – That is total crap that your PM wouldn’t go over the MRI results with you – and completely unprofessional and unacceptable!! (since she wouldn’t read your MRI results to you, how would you even know that she knows what she’s talking about?? She is just expecting you to “take her at her word,” or something, when she doesn’t bother to PROVE to you that she actually knows what she’s talking about???!!!) Did you not get even a copy of the radiologist’s written report, or a copy of the images?? My ortho doctor not only went over the MRIs with me by pulling the pics up on the computer (I was given a CD or DVD disc with all the images taken during the MRIs, by the MRI tech, right after the MRIs, before I left the office) – my ortho went over the images with me, explaining things and answering any questions I had – AND he printed up a copy of the radiologist’s written report of everything he “saw” and the “Final Impressions.” So I have both the written reports and images!!! In my eyes, the only reason a doctor would have for not “reading” an MRI is because he/she DOESN’T KNOW HOW!!! I realize that maybe “regular” doctors might not be very good at it, like surgeons are, but since there’s ALWAYS a radiologist who “reads” and “interprets” the MRI, and puts his/her findings in a written report – your doctor would have all the information necessary (that is, of course, unless she can’t read, either  )… I have never heard of a doctor sending someone off to a neurologist without even explaining why!!! At the very least, you should report that doctor to your State’s Licensing Board .. if not any other “professional association” or something!! And I hope you go on a site like HealthGrades.com and others, where patients can “rate” their doctors and report behaviors like this … that way, even if the State Licensing Board (and/or the American Medical Association, etc.) won’t do anything about it, at least other patients who do “research” on doctors before going to one will be informed!!

Also – I would call your HMO’s main office and tell them you want to change primary care physicians ASAP. They cannot deny you that, if you don’t like the one you have or feel they are sub-par or not very professional or personable, etc. But I feel for you and any person with an HMO - I used to have a friend who worked at an HMOs main office, and she said that based on the “credentials” of the physicians who “belong” to their group, she would never use any of them!!! And when you switch doctors – do that – look up their credentials – where they graduated from – make sure it was a medical school in the United States!! (many circumvent the system, when they can’t get into any medical schools here, and go to ones in the Carribean, etc., then come back here and get into residency programs, and go on to private practice, etc.)

I’ve never heard of “reactive bone marrow edema,” but I’m going to look it up, for sure. I have several “broad-based osteophyte complexes” in my c-spine, and “AC joint arthrosis” in my shoulders, which are both caused by osteoarthritis – before I had the tendon tears in my shoulder or nerve root problems – for 2 years I had severe shoulder pain that would come and go, sometimes being there for a couple days, sometimes for several months. The pain is excruciating, if you ask me. I would have tears running down my cheeks while driving because it was so painful just to hold my arms up on the steering wheel. And I am the person who had 2 children “natural” – no spinal blocks, no drugs … and I lived through a lifetime of horrible menstrual cramps … so I am not what I would consider “overly-sensitive” to pain or have a “low pain tolerance” – I’ve endured a lot. But trying to do your day-to-day activities while you’re in pain (where you either get sharp pains from certain movements or just have a dull ache 24/7) is far worse than “temporary” pain (that stops after the childbirth, stops when the menstrual cycle is over, etc.) Who is your doctor, to tell you that you are not in pain?? Pain is “subjective” – everyone’s tolerance level and “perception” of pain is different!! I even read an article once where a study was done that determined that “fair-skinned, redheads” were found to be the most “pain sensitive” group of people!! And guess what? I was born a redhead and I have fair skin!! I dealt very well with pain for most of my life (because I was taught to “be strong” and “bear with” our problems) – but I’m telling you – after I hit about age 42 (I’m 50, now), I noticed that I was either having “pain that is more severe than I ever experienced before,” or “I have, for some reason, gotten more sensitive to pain.” Maybe that happens as you age?? Your doctor is an insensitive, uncaring doctor if she tells you that your “findings” (x-rays, MRIs, etc.) do not correlate to the pain you say you’re having, and won’t refer you to someone else to “dig deeper” to find the cause, and/or to a “pain management” doctor or clinic. She sounds like she has a “problem” with you, or personality conflict, or something! I’ve never met or heard of a doctor being so “contrary” with their patient!!

Oh, and … no worries – I was not “offended,” nor did I feel you were being “disrespectful” when you said you don’t have carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia!!! Not at all … I “got” why you said it … exactly! (because I said the same thing when I was told that maybe my pain was due to “fibromyalgia.” Yeah, right!!)


I didn't see the last post until today. :) Wow! Thanks for such a caring response. Actually, I don't have a PM dr. My primary care dr. Is an osteopath and they do pain management with the pharm d if you need it. Again, I don't want to be rude about osteopaths. She sent me an email that I had arthritis and there was nothing that indicated more pain based on my MRI. Thank you for validating what I'm feeling as well. Why can't my dr. Meet with me to discuss it? I asked for the radiologist report and the CD. I've been looking up and doing some research on my own. I've been reaching out and asking questions to get some help. Thank you for responding! I have usually had what you've experienced. The neurosurgeon puts my images up and talks to me about it, explains the findings, and I have a greater understanding about what's going on. That's why I simply don't understand this. I called the neurosurgery dept. and talked to. A nurse because I was told by the radiology dept. that my MRI would be sent to the neurology dept. so they could compare it to my other MRI. I thought this was great! Problem was, the radiology dept. at the hospital told me it never went there it went right to my doctor. ?? I don't understand. I felt betrayed and lied to. You're right. She expects me to take her word. This is just too important. Spine fusions are serious business. I'm glad your ortho was so thorough with you! I don't think she knows how to read the report. The pharmaceutical rep for the BMP / infuse lawyer intake recognized that I had major injuries at other levels. She was shocked. These are typical injuries caused by BMP.
I do need to get a new primary dr. It's hard to find someone who knows something about the spine. Thanks for the great ideas.
Osteophytes can be painful. I've had them too. I don't like to hear that you have excruciating pain. I can relate. I gave birth to four children and this is by far the worse pain Ive ever had. I hope you can get some relief. It is hard to do your daily living activities when you have a pain flare up. Have you found any treatments that help your osteoarthritis? It's awful to have pain like that in your shoulders, and nerve root problems. Do you like your doctor?
I think she must have some issue with me. I don't feel like she likes me or even cares what is happening to me. She flat out told me she won't give me anything else for pain - I can do biofeedback. I'm not just wanting to increase pain medications. I asked about going to the pain management clinic. I've heard great things about it from several people. They do injections and other modalities. My dr said it won't help you. I talked to her in early Nov. I felt a burning feeling in my head and neck. I felt like if it didn't get better, I'd have to go to the hospital. I told my doctor I couldn't imagine dealing with this much pain( at the time) for the rest of my life. I'm 51. No comment from her. Now I know that bone marrow edema is severely painful. Thank goodness it did improve. These were listed on the neuroradiologist's impressions. You have to be proactive when it comes to your health. I want to have hope. We all do. I will check back here more often.:)
Thank you again for your care,concern, and thoughts. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. My husband is wonderful! I'm lucky.:)
Please take care and keep us updated on how you're doing!


Like the more recent info, always hoping for a football star's outcome. Now awaiting ANOTHER MRI of thoracic spine. I had T1-2 osteophyte complex pushing into spinal cord. I will not repeat my saga that started with 3-level, then terrible complication with two more disks. The disk above is so effaced, spinal fluid barely gets by. I do not want more surgery as C-2 is too close to breathing. I did go to an out of town major med training school with only scans- but no reports (important local neurosurgeon scares local docs from a true 2nd opinion) I still hurt daily. Got off oxy meds almost two yrs ago, I still hurt on them, needed more. Very offended by word addiction v dependent, as I have never done any drugs, lived clean life. I have worked in court and a word like addiction vs dependent would affect decisions. Radiculopathy, nerve damage is painful. I know the above-below disks had major complications. Doc said no to infuse, yet I wore those pads on my neck almost 11 months. I told doc (talking about my top rated neurosurgeon)about second opinion of c6-7 not fusing, he agreed but never told me. I carefully asked re infuse, yet he said no infuse. Separate hosp record of to do's from hosp (yes,they have their own records different than doc), and it was directed to infuse large kit II. Out of town top rted neurosurgeon/Professor said he had never seen fusion like mine. I refuse to let pain ruin my life. I love my job and have son who needs support for life. Now I feel swollen. Knees tight, hurt hen ingetbup, cannot wear rings, stomach bloated but not hungry and cannot et much compared to prior.
Pain doc will only give me suboxone for pain relief. I hate it and take less than one a day. I am good at tapering meds, no lower than 1/4th of one,major joint swelling, no walking, or drive. I read huge paper ion med package, doc did not know. Pain mgmt should know. perfect bariatric surgery years prior so cannot take NSAIDs - not good. Have low trust level with surgical docs, as he owns a lot of what he used on me, did not tell me. He is only one who is aware of his procedures, except many pharm companies there to watch or maybe purchase? Surgeon Is known to be good, patents, etc, on many top medical boards,
I do not want them fusing higher, only a disk from the breathing disk. I can tell it is tight there. Suboxone is given to get off opiates, but can be used "off label" for pain relief. He put I was drug addict as i asked for percocets. I took myself off twice, not wanting meds. Surgery in future is said by all neurosurgeons, I am hoping procedures a lot better by then. Worst part, I need several procedures done and normal anesthesia will not work. He said i will have to be an anesthesia patient, will be screaming and no one
will give me more meds as suboxone rejects opiates and they will think i have had way too much. Most
docs have never heard of suboxone or believe i am taking it for pain relief. Embarrassing. Even hands
Tremor, feel odd. Bariatric patients, no time-released meds, why i asked for more. I called oxy company, they agree. I try to stay with docs if I think they are competent or we disagree, very hard to start over with new, competent pain docs(yes, they insist on prior records). Plus, from my job history, docs rely on prior doc, even when they say they do not if they are good. Seems like in my part of country, now docs scared of new rules with opiates due to those who abuse them vs hard to treat pain patients. They are not God,"practice medicine." I have done painful procedures. --meds are the only option left with me-- i want him to reverse due to anesthesia fears, short period to put me on opiates, not put off my procedures, hopefully stay off all suboxone with some relief. Xanax, yes I am anxious, cannot help it. so they can relax or see it the way I do or vice versa. I think they feel more confidence in you when you do not leave when there is disagreement. He will not work with me on them, I read records:no opiates ever again, yet other docs would easily rx them as my records are so documented. Now he is building big practice, concerned
re being difficult patient. Wish I was not there either. 47 at surgery, now 53 years young, want to be clear headed, but without the terrible burning,aching pain. I cannot be alone in this situation. Surgery 10/07, 4/08 referred to pain mgmt, worse, still pain doc monthly. I do take Xanax more than suboxone, 1 mg as prn for pain when it gets too bad-still feel pain, helps mental, not good for anesthesia. All docs know. My anxiety? Yes, I am scared I am heading for loss of everything. I do not talk pain with others who do not understand. New severe pain, now random pain in hips, sciatic, legs and arthritis building....pain, even foot arthritis sent me to e.r.-arthritis.
FDA are asking, so go to site, give FDA have input into opiates and pain patients. I need something better than the choices. Yes, done the holistic, physical therapy many times. Surgeons said: surgery is only to repair my C2-3 and T1-3 bad cord compressions, do not expect pain relief at all.
Nerve pain is bad without NSAIDs,Pain pumps will not help, horrible arm/radiculopathy, loss of right grip, rare days of energy- neck and atrophy of rotator cuff bad shoulder pain. Occassionally, I have moments of energy, can end up with more pain. Sorry, I let neurosurgeon decide to go to third disk vs two. He did not tell me, but I said if he saw something, go ahead, do not bring me back next month
All surgeries I have ever had, no problems. I assumed he would use some gold standard, not his products with pharm people viewing it. Yes, I wonder if I had a two-level vs three would I have all these complications? If you are told three vs two, go slow, view the huge differences for your future. he neverI said I would wear things on my neck 24/7 almost a year, wouldn't that be the bone growth stuff?
Surgeon replied, "no, we will stay with the plan." He never came out and updated hubby when he changed the plan that my hubby did not agree with, since I was getting IV feel good meds. He never came back out to husband to say what a big difference two vs three is. I make my income with arms/hands. Never said it was his patent. I know I would have said "no, stay with gold standard. Too much chance for bias. It is a for profit business. He never told me." Now in 2012, it is on the website due to changes. He should have spoken up.never did. Yes, trust is waning. He wants to remove fusion. No one believed me. Husb present. Thank you for understanding, I feel ignorant, other than the prospectus, lawsuits re products, mystery special procedure.


thank you all so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....i finally understand so much ....thank you all...praying for some pain relief for you all


'07, ACDF, wore those pads on neck almost 12 months, me think I had bone growth stimulator. From '10 to '08, recovery never arrived, still radicular pain, shoulder, a
Elbow, last two fingers numb and losing grip in right hand "RIGHT".... big deal. Local docs too afraid of saying zip, never told me C6/7 did not fuse. Finally, wondering why surgeon wanted to remove three level fusion, no one does this, very rare, as I went out of town: no reports, who did it, what anyone thought: it is called a first blush opinion, they only see scans/give 2nd opinion. He said -- mind you, top rated in country, taught several neurosurgeons locally, in 60s still operating on hard cases and training other neurosurgeons at UF Medical School, good school, he admitted C6/7 did not fuse, why I had to wear neck stimulate pads 24/7 with a buzzer vs normal 3 mos, he had never seen fusion like mine ever. Never heard of the never marketed name of drug involved - sounds identical to the gel, foam other med in the peek cages. Now I have severe cord compression, retroliatheaia above 3-level site almost totally p
effaced spinal fluid, T1/2, very dangerous osteophyte complex pushed info spinal cord. No pain mgmt worked, other than losing credibility with all my docs, as I am previous perfect gastric bypass patient-No
NSAIDs. I tried acupuncture by UF teacher, all docs say I need to correct C3/4, but will not help pain, which has been monthly since 4-08. Yes. Meds would not absorb with me so they upped dosage, so he
Put drug put addiction in my files with every doc he could market a connection with. I make living with
hands and words. Doc's words are like the Bible in court, even exception to hearsay rule. Read your
record, u will be surprised. One top national clinic has the guts to dictate your records in front of you and see if they made a mistake, about 99 perc of time they do as their mind is on you physically vs anecdotal
info we all say. I love piano, scrapbooking/card art, anythings with hands- cooking, house, hair.... Weak grip is not good. Meds cost me fortune in my teeth. I do not dare go to other pain doc, as then u r doc shopping. Even said I will not be asking for meds, yet suspicion abounds in the second opinion re meds, with this terrible climate of serious addiction. Now 53, been 47, lost my weight, high reputation in my field
to have unknown products in my back, never thinking my doc would have financial play in what he used .... Some of it never was approved. Go to hosp billing/records, very interesting.
Now I am getting help for the loss of top business as if hubby loses job, I will try to do the smallest. Ihave special son, 26 yr old, who does not know it,Yes, I am upset. Now his financial interest is on front page, would have chosen gold standard. Even pharm companies came in to watch surgery as I stupidly told
him if he saw something else, then fix it. That was an incite into experimental, off the grid permission. All prior surgeries were a breeze, I am positive, still thought I would improve. Pain mgmt, when nothingbhe didnworked, I got myself off oxys, though his records look as if he put me off. I have hard
documentation of injuries. I have small business. If I quit, I am sure my shy bus partner goes under. I work in legal field and did not use a single litigation doc, thinking stupidly ins co would pay up my Upolicy. NOTE-new law in FL, better go to doc in two weeks or u waive your right to recover on a um policy. Some people are not your best neighbor in insurance! Jury said $2 - yes, $2 mill were my injuries' cost vs the small 300k policy they would not give me that we pd for 30 yrs. Yes, used to love working in court,
even judge knew me, all counsel, good neighbor brought one video in of ins doc $2 mill for him each time. Nothing bad on me, lived solid clean life, non prior. I had to pay to bring my docs in to say she was
fine until a/c truck hit me, still thinking I will be fine and put off MRI 3 weeks, then mandatory surgery.
Top nationalmfacility: failed back syndrome surgery. Hosp records as they use drugs, stickies r on bottle. Mine is written unintellibly by surgeon, but on directive to nurse has large infuse kit II, yet he said
he did not use it. Oh, loads of people were invited to see my surgery, pharm possible sales as he is a person who designs patents. Never told me, it is only if I ask him specific quest, I wonder is this it, as i saw his company's records, saw trademark infringement lawsuit around the time this was used 10/30-07,
said quit making it, or else;but it is pricey, u use what you have on hand. all surgeons say I will need for sure surgery on C3/4, add'l post problem and t1-2 dangerous. He is top in his field. I just wanted the
truth. Go to hospital, see your internal records and see if they match. ac truck co was broke, they gave
their policy quickly, my not best neighbor if they pd my sm policy I would not be able to get my little compared to my losses. They have mediocre counsel and seem to starve you if u do not take low offer,
but we held on and waited 3.5 years, when I got my day in CRT, happy: 2million which only meant my 300k policy was not paid and post haste will be. Then the not best ins co hired team of better dressed
counsel: if they appeal, now they only have to pay 1 perc interest, as they put us in fed CRT vs state CRT. I heardwww.bfis.com is good for these things. If I would have been treated right while I laid i am
suffering in worst pain ever, losing top reputation, these new counsel only make money if they appeal. If I won, since by my peers my injuries were worth 2 mill, my counsel become witnesses, then ten more yrs for sue for punitive damages as my ethical counsel knows, after awaiting appeal time.... I got more thanh
policy but a lot bless than 2 mill, as I had to accept less or appeal would start, plus )pay of part of med bills as lots of companies are self insured. If I would have gone for punitives, next lawyer gets 10 percent from a dollars upfront., if you live in FL tons of uninsured people. Wish my Washington person would not give in to big ins. So I got my policy or what was left of it and helped others know how serious these cases can be long term. I refused any mental help thru trial, as I knew how ins and jury
Think. Ps: I only used top rated, non litigating docs, and still got this stuff in my neck but believe it is his generic as I have retriolisthesis at C2/3. And every painful pain procedure. Now i am on med where i need my normal things done like colonoscopy, upper GI, breast lump, rtc., done/removed, he said I will be screaming as this subutex, as the similar drug makes me swell, makes other opiates not work. I believe this neck stuff made it all worse, now hips, sciatic pain bad. Nothing will relieve pain, think what u cannot do with arm pain. Nerve pain is so painful. Atrophy of rotator cuff bursitis, tendinitis ...Yes, shots, all of it...cannot visit other docs without your doc knowing, even when you tell them.... All doc shopping to them. At my age, courtroom experience, judges see drug dependent differently than addiction. I will never absorb time release anything. He will not research it - tons of info there. Yes, my mild anxiety is terrible. Even yesterday the famous doc show talked about what docs write about you follows you, worse with electronic deal


Thanm god i have found this pg. I am a bmp-2 cervical fusion patient. I In the mornin when I wake u m my neck, shoulders, and arms useless. My hands all the all the way for about the 10 or 15 minute I've recently have changed all my doctors and they are appalled as to what has been done There was a docto tha that used th the chemical BMP-2 consent of man many patients where i live. I don't know what my future holds

to figh to fight this but feel like I'm als losing th losing the battle. I also lay in here in a diaper of waste aunt can and can't do anything about it. Not until at at least start moving as soon as I can anyt abou about it i one da I am going t not be abl to eve cal 91 for hel an and that may not be possible. I sleep sitting up and thats hard because my lower spine has problems as well. With all this a as graphic a as it might thankfull to know I am NOT alone in this in this battle. I will post more later.


In late March of 09 i had a cervical fusion at C5-6 as a result of a bad car wreck. The surgeon used BMP and PEEK cage and i immediately began having major problems. It is now so bad that I can't feel my hands at times and my fingers, I'm in constant pain and have horendous migraines . I am only 34 and am terrified as to what the rest of my life will entail. my health has rapidly declined and over Thanksgiving I was put on a ventilator for several days with pneumonia and kidney infection. This led to blood clots in my right arm and shoulder to top it all off. It just keeps getting worse and i want the stuff out of me. My spinal canal is narrowing and i am scared i will lose the use of my limbs. My lawyers onthe other hand are wonderful if anyone needs a knowledgable lawyer whose nain. cases are dealing with Medtronic and their bone graft he comes highly recommended. It is actually two law firms working together as co counsel. Crumley Roberts at crumleyroberts.com and Bubalo, Sales, Goode & Bliss at 866-288-1529. I believe Mr Bubalo was one of the first lawyers defending patients who were wronged so horribly. Theey are all wonderful and genuinely care. Hope something is figured out about the long term effects for all of our sakes. I stay continually sick with infections now and my health is really in poor condition since my surgery. Good luck tto everyone! And God bless you all.


Are you still active or utilizing this discussion? Sad for ur misfortune and I pray u have worked past the challenges presented...and restored to health and Pain free. Sounds like a similar battle for me since acdf 5/6 with peek cage & bmp.

Failed fusion ...needs to be fixed (re done), now with adjacent disc disease dx++. But motor skill deficits that began days after surgery that have been battle...to say the least. Paralysis symptoms, sleep sitting up, pain over 10+... offered a spinal cord stimulator implant, within short post op period. Have fought for healing ... with idea that structural issue causing the neuro issues ... and wanting healing. ..not to cover up symptoms and likely suffer addl damage .... help asap.., thx


Are u still answering questions? Asking questions? Found answers? Needing help .. and u look like a wealth of info .. and now have had 3 more years to live out and beat the nightmare after a failed surgery ... blessings


51yrs old man, 5 cervical surgeries, 3 ACDF C4-7, 1 Posterior Facet Fusion C3-T1. BMP In-fuse Kit used with my own bone from my hip. for the past 4 years i have never been not able to get pain relief. I wake up choking so bad that it feels like i am going to die. I have inflammation on my left side of my incision over my left shoulder. My fused Facets are enlarged causing pain all over my upper neck, lower neck, shoulders, left arm & fingers. i am not able to drive due to major pain from turning my head left or right. I really need to find a doctor that will help me. My current pain management doctor does not believe that this is the reason i am in so much pain on a daily. But they really do not know much about BMP. I really need to speak to anyone that is going through what i am dealing with.

Just looking for answers.