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Bone graft substitutes have been developed to circumvent donor site morbidity associated with iliac crest bone graft, but sparse literature compares the efficacy of various substitutes. Two commonly used bone graft substitutes used in lumbar fusion are β-tricalcium phosphate (BTP) and demineralized bone matrix (DBM).A retrospective review of patients who underwent instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion was conducted by a single surgeon from January 2013 to December 2016. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether DBM or BTP as graft in conjunction with local autograft. Clinical outcomes scores were collected at a minimum of 1-year follow-up. Postoperative CT scans were evaluated to assess fusion.Forty-one patients (DBM, 21 and BTP, 20) were reviewed. No significant differences were found in terms of age, sex, body mass index, smoking, diabetes, steroids, osteoporosis, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, number of levels fused, estimated blood loss, length of stay, or surgical time between the DBM and BTP groups. A trend was found toward lower revision surgery (zero versus 15%), improved visual analog scale scores (postoperative change of 1.81 versus 3.25; P = 0.09), and higher rates of fusion (90% versus 70%; P = 0.09) in the DBM group compared with the BTP group.No significant difference was found in clinical outcomes at 1 year, with a trend toward a higher fusion rate and lower revision surgery with DBM.