Medtronic Infuse

Medtronic Bone Graft_1.jpg

A bone-grafting drug has been linked to infertility in men. Medtronic's Infuse is used to regrow bone after spinal fusion surgery or dental work. It cuts out the need to take bone from the hip or jaw to grow new bone, and so it is much less painful. It's a small implant that's put into the spine via laparoscopic surgery. If it's used for dental work, it helps regrow bone in the jaw and sinus area. It consists of a tiny sponge, a bone-growing solution containing special proteins, and a miniature cage to contain these elements. It stays in your back or jaw once it's implanted.

A recently published study, however, showed that there was an elevated risk of infertility associated with the Medtronic Infuse implant. The study, conducted by Stanford University, was published in the online version of The Spine Journal. It examined 230 men who'd had spinal fusion. 69 of them had an Infuse implant, while 174 of them had other types of bone grafts. Six of the men with the Infuse implants experienced retrograde ejaculation: this occurs when a man ejaculates and his semen goes into his bladder instead of coming out through his urethra. Obviously, since the semen isn't leaving the man's body, retrograde ejaculation can result in infertility. Only one of the men with the other types of bone grafts had retrograde ejaculation.

Out of the six retrograde cases, three cleared up within one year. This included the man with the condition who had another type of bone graft.

So far, Medtronic hasn't commented on the results of the study.


 
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