Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) for Spinal Fusion

A genetically produced protein called recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2), or just bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), is a remarkable material that stimulates the body to grow new bone. BMP allows surgeons to perform fusion surgery without relying on bone grafts. 

What is Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP)?

BMP is a naturally occurring human protein that has been isolated and reproduced as a result of cutting-edge human gene research. Numerous clinical trials have determined that BMP is a safe and effective alternative to bone graft. Most importantly, BMP facilitates fusion at a rate equivalent to or greater than traditional bone grafts.

Problems When Using Bone Grafts

Spinal fusion surgery makes it possible for surgeons to strengthen the spine, restore function, and reduce pain in patients who need it. This type of surgery has traditionally relied on bone grafts. Bone grafts are small pieces of bone, usually taken from the patient’s own hip or pelvis, and placed into the spaces between two vertebrae. In time, this added bone “fuses” to the vertebrae and hardens like regular bone.

While this is often the best way to treat a variety of spinal disorders, bone grafts carry with them a host of possible problems. The biggest downside to bone grafts is that fusion does not always take place. Fusion rates can vary, based on the procedure, between 75% and 98%. In addition, many patients report significant post-operative pain in the area where the graft was taken – pain that often lasts for many months or years. In some patients, the bone graft harvest site can remain a permanent source of discomfort. Likewise, bone grafting requires additional time in the operating room, which increases many surgical risks such as infection and bleeding, as well as prolonging the patient’s hospital stay and recovery time.

Using Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) Instead of Bone Grafts

The new alternative to bone grafting, bone morphogenetic protein, alleviates these problems. It shortens the amount of time in surgery, reduces complication rates, and allows for a quicker and less painful recovery time. Patients whose fusion surgery involved the use of BMP are able to return to their activities of daily living quicker than ever before.

At our practice we use BMP in a variety of fusion surgeries. Our goal is to treat our patients’ spinal conditions in the most effective and safest ways possible – and to return you to an active and pain-free life. If you are a candidate for spinal fusion surgery, our specialists will talk to you about the possibility of using BMP.


Our Office Is Conveniently Located in Central New Jersey

Have Your Spine Case Doctor-Reviewed by Nationally Renowned Spine Surgeon, Dr. Darryl Antonacci. After Doctors’s review, a staff member from Dr. Antonacci’s and Dr. Betz’s office will contact you typically within 48 hours for more information about your condition or to schedule an appointment.

Our Office Location


Near Princeton, NJ
3100 Princeton Pike,
Bldg. 1-D
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Office: 609-912-1500
Fax: 609-912-1600

NJ Spine Surgery Treatment Centers

Saint Peter’s University Hospital,
New Brunswick, NJ

254 Easton Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP)
1 Plainsboro Road,
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Mount Sinai Medical Center,
New York City

1 Gustave L. Levy Pl, New York, NY 10029
Scoliosis Research Society National Board of Medical Examiners AOSpine Europe Consumers Research Council of America


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