The authors compared the rates of postoperative adverse events and reoperation of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to those of patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion without BMP.
The authors retrospectively analyzed the PearlDiver Technologies, Inc., database, which contains the Medicare Standard Analytical Files, the Medicare Carrier Files, the PearlDiver Private Payer Database (UnitedHealthcare), and select state all-payer data sets, from 2005 to 2010. They identified patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with and without BMP. The ICD-9-CM code 84.52 was used to identify patients who underwent spinal fusion with BMP. ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes identified complications that occurred during the initial hospital stay. ICD-9-CM procedural codes were used to identify reoperations within 90 days of the index procedure. The relative risks (and 95% CIs) of BMP use compared with no BMP use (control) were calculated for the association of any complication with BMP use compared with the control.
Between 2005 and 2010, 460,773 patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion were identified. BMP was used in 30.7% of these patients. The overall complication rate in the BMP group was 18.2% compared with 18.7% in the control group. The relative risk of BMP use compared with no BMP use was 0.976 (95% CI 0.963–0.989), which indicates a significantly lower overall complication rate in the BMP group (p < 0.001). In both treatment groups, patients older than 65 years had a statistically significant higher rate of postoperative complications than younger patients (p < 0.001).
In this large-scale institutionalized database study, BMP use did not seem to increase the overall risk of developing a postoperative complication after lumbar spinal fusion surgery.