The application of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein in the anterior cervical spine is controversial. Although recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein has been shown to produce fusion rates as high and likely higher than the "gold standard" autogenous iliac crest and fibula grafts (especially for multilevel fusions), complications associated with its use have been reported. These have included hematoma or seroma formation requiring repeat surgery, severe dysphagia, and anterior neck swelling requiring prolonged hospitalization and treatment. Although it is likely that with appropriate dosage, carrier, placement, and containment, the risk of these complications is not high, surgeons should be aware of the issues surrounding bone morphogenetic protein use in the cervical spine and must be prepared to prevent and/or manage the potentially life-threatening complications associated with its use.
- Bone morphogenetic protein
- Cervical spine