In the past ten years, 137 autogenous and 143 merthiolate-preserved, homogenous-bone-grafting procedures have been performed. Twenty-four additional procedures were done in which a combination of autogenous and homogenous-bone grafts was used. Thus there is a total of 304 surgical procedures. There were sixteen (12 per cent) failures in the autogenous group, thirty-three (23 per cent) in the homogenous group, and five (21 per cent) in the group in which a combination of autogenous and homogenous-bone grafts were used. All failures were included regardless of the reason, and no distinction was made as to the etiology of the non-union.
The incidence of failure with autogenous chips was 8 per cent. When a full-thickness autogenous-bone block was used, the incidence of failure was 17 per cent. The incidence of failure with homogenous chips was 19 per cent; when a full-thickness block graft was used the incidence was 31 per cent. A combination of autogenous and homogenous chips resulted in an 18 per cent incidence of failure. The occurrence of infection with merthiolate-preserved homogenous grafts was less than that with autogenous grafts. Bone grafts inserted in the presence of infection usually resulted in failure. No allergic reaction or sensitivity to merthiolate occurred unless one concludes that the greater number of failures from the use of merthiolate bone is on this basis.
Copyright 1959 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated