Bone Morphogenetic Proteins

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 available BMP 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 as 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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