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Impaction of Cancellous Bone Grafts Impairs Osteoconduction in Titanium Chambers

Tägil, Magnus; Aspenberg, Per

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: July 1998 - Volume 352 - Issue - p 231–238

The method of using morselized compacted cancellous allografts for hip arthroplasty revision shows results that seem to differ dramatically from other kinds of allografting. In structural cancellous allografts, bone ingrowth usually is limited to 2 to 3 mm, whereas morselized compacted grafts seem to be remodeled totally in several cases, as judged by radiography. In the current study, impacted cancellous allografts were compared with unimpacted allografts. Seventeen rats had a bone conduction chamber implanted in the tibias bilaterally. On one side the chambers contained an impacted graft (bone volume fraction 65%) and on the contralateral side an unimpacted graft (bone volume fraction 35%). Impaction of the grafts was done preoperatively with a pressure of either 25 or 2500 MPa. Ingrowing bone could enter the cylindrical interior of the chamber only at one end. After 6 weeks the mean distance the ingrown bone had reached into the graft was measured on histologic slides. With both impaction pressures, the bone ingrowth distance was decreased to 30% of the unimpacted controls. It appears that impaction alone does not have a favorable effect on the osteoconductive properties of a bone graft. On the contrary, impaction seems to disfavor osteoconduction. However, in the clinical situation this is not necessarily a disadvantage.

Department of Orthopedics, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

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