Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) are a group of special molecules
known for their ability to induce the formation of bone and cartilage.
They have an important role during embryonic development and
early skeletal formation. BMPs are produced using recombinant
DNA technology. These molecules are used in many disciplines of
medicine and dentistry. Originally, seven such proteins were
discovered. Currently (as for 2010) the total number of BMPs is 20.
Spine surgery and BMPs
Spine surgery has benefited greatly from commercially
formualtions in the recent years. BMP-2 and BMP-7 have been shown in
clinical studies to be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of
bone-related conditions including non-union, and they have
received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. BMPs can be
costly (between $6000 and $10,000) compared with other techniques such
bone grafting. However, this cost is often far less than the costs
required with orthopaedic revision in multiple surgeries.
BMPs are primising. However, most data on demineralized bone matrix
suggests that it is a reasonable graft extender, but not a reasonable
graft replacement substance.
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