Incomplete incorporation of morselized and impacted autologous bone graft: a histological study in 4 intracorporally grafted lumbar fractures
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Morselized and impacted bone allografts are used successfully in hip and knee revisions, but experiments using bone chambers indicate that impaction actually can delay ingrowth of new bone into a graft. To understand the remodeling and incorporation process of morselized and impacted grafts, we studied the incorporation of morselized impacted autografts in lumbar fractures histologically. 4 patients were operated on for Th XII-LI fractures. The fractures were stabilized by VSP plates and transpedicular screws in the vertebrae above and below the fractured one. Autologous bone graft was packed into the fractured vertebral body through one of the pedicles. After 18-20 months, the plates were removed and biopsies were obtained from various locations in the fractured vertebra. All fractures were at this time clinically and radiographically healed. Histologically, in all cases, large areas of the autograft in the vertebral body were unvascularized and partially or entirely necrotic. As with morselized bone in hip revisions, evaluation of graft incorporation requires histological examination. Full osseous incorporation of a graft is not always necessary for a good clinical result.