Use of Osteopromotive Growth Factors, Demineralized Bone Matrix, and Ceramics to Enhance Spinal Fusion

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Recently developed materials that can enhance fusion rates for posterolateral lumbar arthrodesis may be used alone or in combination with autogenous bone grafts. Novel osteopromotive growth factor preparations are currently under scrutiny; these include autogenous growth factor concentrate, bovine bone-derived osteoinductive protein, and recombinant human MP52. Demineralized bone matrix products may enhance or extend grafts. However, few studies, especially prospective randomized clinical trials, have assessed their efficacy, so it is difficult to compare formulations. Ceramics have been evaluated in animal studies and human clinical trials for a variety of applications in spinal surgery. These materials function best as bone graft extenders or as bioactive osteoinductive material carriers in posterolateral lumbar fusions. They have the advantage of variable porosity, low cost, and ease of manufacture. Hydroxyapatite/tricalcium phosphate ceramics have been shown to perform as well as autogenous bone grafts but with fewer complications.

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