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Gas-Sterilized Cadaver Bone Grafts for Spinal Fusion Operations: A Simplified Bone Bank

CLOWARD, RALPH B., MD

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Cadaver bone for spinal fusion operations is as safe as autografts. The author's 35 years' experience using cadaver bone for interbody spinal fusion operations has led to the development of a simplified bone bank method. Unsterile bone removed from young, fresh cadavers is cut into appropriate sizes and shapes, washed clean, packaged and sterilized with ethylene oxide gas, then aerated and stored at room temperature. The results of spinal fusion, both cervical and lumbar, using 187 gas-sterilized bone grafts in 58 patients operated on over the past year and a half, were reviewed and compared with fusions using autografts or banked bone from proven methods. The rate and percentage of fusion of gas-sterilized bone was comparable to other bone grafts with no untoward complications.

From the Department of Neurosurgery, Rush Medical College and Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.