Bone morphogenetic proteins in anterior lumbar interbody fusion: old techniques and new technologies. Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2004

J Neurosurg Spine. 2004 Oct;1(3):254-60. doi: 10.3171/spi.2004.1.3.0254.


Object: The author reports the clinical and radiographic outcomes obtained in three prospective multicenter clinical trials in which recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) was used in anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Methods: Stand-alone interbody fusion cages were used, and supplemental fixation was not performed as part of the study protocol. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two ALIF groups: one in which autologous iliac crest bone graft was used (control) and one in which an rhBMP-2-coated absorbable collagen sponge was placed (investigational group). In all patients who underwent rhBMP-2-augmented fusion, imaging demonstrated evidence of bone induction and early incorporation of the cortical allografts. Overall, more expedient clinical improvements and higher success rates were observed in the rhBMP-2 group.

Conclusions: In these studies it was shown that rhBMP-2 is a safe and effective material for facilitating ALIF and for decreasing pain and improving clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Collagen / administration & dosage
  • Diskectomy
  • Drug Carriers / administration & dosage
  • Drug Implants / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Ilium / transplantation
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / complications
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnostic imaging
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery*
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Low Back Pain / surgery
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Implants
  • Collagen