Fibrous tissue armoring increases the mechanical strength of an impacted bone graft

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Abstract

Impacted, morselized bone allografts are used with good clinical results in revision of hip prostheses with loosening and osteolysis. The impacted bone graft appears radiographically to remodel, but histological analyses have shown a heterogeneous picture with a mixture of living and dead bone. Thus, complete remodeling of the graft may be neither a prerequisite nor a cause of the good clinical results. The present study concerns the mechanical effect of the mere armoring of the bone graft by ingrowing fibrous tissue. We compared the compression strength of freshly-impacted grafts to grafts that had been inserted into a bone chamber and thus were penetrated by fibrous tissue growing in between the graft trabeculae. The compressive strength was doubled after 4 weeks of fibrous ingrowth. We conclude that the mechanical properties of an impacted graft are enhanced by armoring with ingrowing fibrous tissue. Strengthening of the parts of the impacted grafts which have not yet remodeled, would be clinically relevant for the outcome of the operation, since these parts are at high stress during the whole remodeling period. Complete osseous remodeling may not be necessary to obtain a good clinical result with a morselized impacted graft.

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  • Orthopedics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-82
JournalActa Orthopaedica Scandinavica
Volume72
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes