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An estimated 9.2 percent of spinal fusion surgeries in children used bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) -- a use that was not only off-label, but also costly, according to data culled from more than 8,000 pediatric spinal fusion procedures.

The median cost for spinal fusions using BMP was $47,136 versus $43,126 (<0.001), wrote Emily Dodwell, MD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, in a research letter in the October 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dodwell and colleagues analyzed data from a sample of 4,121 U.S. hospitals in the Kids' Inpatient Database.

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