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Large Bone Volume Harvested in Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion

Volumes of bone graft harvested likely to be higher in men, patients without prior decompression

WEDNESDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Large volumes of local bone can be harvested during posterolateral lumbar fusion surgery, according to a study published in the June issue of The Spine Journal.

Eugene J. Carragee, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Redwood City, Calif., and colleagues assessed the available volume of local bone graft in 25 patients with degenerative processes who underwent single-level primary posterolateral fusion with or without instrumentation. Standard procedures were used to harvest local bone graft and measure the volume in each patient.

The investigators found that 44 percent of the patients had a previous decompression. After treatment, the mean volume of local bone graft harvested was found to be 25 cc. Iliac crest bone augmented local bone grafts in 24 percent of the patients, in cases where the posterolateral fusion bed was not well packed with local bone alone. Volumes of local bone graft tended to be higher in men and in patients without previous decompression.

"Large volumes of local bone can be harvested during posterolateral lumbar fusion surgery. Even in patients with previous decompression, the volume harvested is similar to that reported harvested from the posterior iliac crest for single-level fusion," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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