Incorporation of morsellized bone graft under controlled loading conditions. A new animal model in the goat

N.M.P. Lamerigts, P. Buma, H.W.J. Huiskes, W. Schreurs, J.W.M. Gardeniers, T.J.J.H. Slooff

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The aim of this study was to develop a new animal model in which we could assess the in vivo effects of mechanical stimuli in the incorporation process of impacted morsellized bone grafts. The subcutaneous pressure implant SPI was developed for use in the goat. This device can generate controlled loading conditions onto a fixed amount of bone graft in the distal femur. Twenty goats were divided into three groups: non-loaded, 2 or 4 MPa loads (1 Hz, 1 h/day). The goats were sacrificed after 3, 6 or 12 weeks. The results were documented by clinical observations, quantitative bone density from QCT-scanning and histomorphometry. Nine post-mortem knee specimens were prepared in a similar manner to the experimental knees to determine the reproducibility and mechanical stability of the grafting method. Three goats were lost due to complications, the others functioned clinically well. Histology showed invasion of the bone graft by a front of vascular fibrous tissue after which osteoclasts resorbed the dead bone graft, followed by woven bone apposition on the graft remnants. At 12 weeks the loaded grafts had transformed into a vital trabecular structure. QCT bone density measurements revealed persistently high densities in the 12-weeks 4 MPa specimens, but reduced densities in the 2 MPa and non-loaded specimens. Morphometrically, the mineralising surface was larger in the 4 MPa group (P = 0.02) and the incorporation and remodelling processes had advanced more rapidly in the 2 MPa specimens (P = 0.04). Although the numbers investigated in this study in each group were low, statistical differences were found in the amount of graft left after incorporation and in the apposition rate of the new bone. In the future this model will be used to study the incorporation potential of different types of bone graft and bone graft substitutes. [Journal Article; In English; England]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-747
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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