Document Type




Publication Date



Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Source Publication

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

Source ISSN



Background: Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) is a powerful osteoinductive morphogen capable of stimulating the migration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to the site of implantation and inducing the proliferation and differentiation of these MSCs into osteoblasts. Vertebral end-plate and vertebral body resorption has been reported after interbody fusion with high doses of rhBMP-2. In this study, we investigated the effects of 2 rhBMP-2 doses on peri-implant bone resorption and bone remodeling at 7 time points in an end-plate-sparing ovine interbody fusion model. Methods: Twenty-one female sheep underwent an end-plate-sparing discectomy followed by interbody fusion at L2-L3 and L4-L5 using a custom polyetheretherketone (PEEK) interbody fusion device. The PEEK interbody device was filled with 1 of 2 different doses of rhBMP-2 on an absorbable collagen sponge (ACS): 0.13 mg (1·) or 0.90 mg (7·). Bone remodeling and interbody fusion were assessed via high-resolution radiography and histological analyses at 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, and 20 weeks postoperatively. Results: Peri-implant bone resorption peaked between 3 and 8 weeks in both the 1· and the 7· rhBMP-2/ACS-dose group. Osteoclastic activity and corresponding peri-implant bone resorption was dose-dependent, with moderate-to-marked resorption at the 7·-dose level and less resorption at the 1·-dose level. Both dose (p < 0.0007) and time (p < 0.0025) affected bone resorption significantly. Transient bone-resorption areas were fully healed by 12 weeks. Osseous bridging was seen at all but 1 spinal level at 12 and at 20 weeks. Conclusions: In the ovine end-plate-sparing interbody fusion model, rhBMP-2 dose-dependent osteoclastic resorption is a transient phenomenon that peaks at 4 weeks postoperatively. Clinical Relevance: Using the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved rhBMP-2 concentration and matching the volume of rhBMP-2/ACS with the volume of desired bone formation within the interbody construct may limit the occurrence of transient bone resorption.


Accepted version. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol. 98, No. 24 (December 2016): 2061-2070. DOI. © 2016 The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. Used with permission.

Jeffrey Toth was affiliated with Medical College of Wisconsin at the time of publication.

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