Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ


I had a very successful fusion at C4-5 about five years ago. It looks like I'm going to need another fusion at C5-6. The last time they used bone chips taken from my pelvic bone for the graft. That hurt for two years while my neck felt fine. I'd really like to avoid that problem this time. Is there any way around it? Any plastic substitute or glue they can use now?


Have you talked to your surgeon about this? There may be a local bone bank with donor bone available. National bone banks are also a possibility. Studies show good fusion results with donor bone without the complications of pain at the donor site.

Donor bone often comes from people having hip or knee replacements. It can also come from cadavers (bodies preserved after death). The bone that is removed to make room for the implant is ground up and preserved. All bone donors are carefully screened. All donated bone is treated to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses. The bone is packaged in sterile conditions so it's safe to use.

Craig A. Kuhns, MD, et al. An Outcomes Analysis of the Treatment of Cervical Pseudoarthrosis with Posterior Fusion. In Spine. November 1, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 21. Pp. 2424-2429.

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