Markus Schultheiss, Michael Sarkar, Markus Arand, Michael Kramer, Hans-Joachim Wilke, Lothar Kinzl, Erich Hartwig

July 2004, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 192 - 196 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-004-0764-7

First Online: 10 July 2004

We investigated the osseointegration of solvent-preserved, xenogenous cancellous bone blocks in the treatment of unstable fractures of the thoracolumbar junction. In 22 patients, the anterior repair procedure was performed by thoracoscopy or minimally invasive retroperitoneal surgery. Twenty-two patients had undergone monosegmental anterior fusion and were surveyed prospectively. Solvent-preserved, bovine cancellous bone blocks were used in 11 patients; iliac crest bone graft was used in the others. Follow-up after 12 months included CT scans, which revealed successful osseointegration in eight out of 11 patients who had received autogenous iliac crest bone grafts, while three patients showed a partial integration. There were no graft fragmentations. In patients who had received solvent-preserved, xenogenous cancellous bone blocks, complete osseointegration was achieved at the graft–bone interface in only two out of 11 cases, after 1 year. Partial integration was found in three patients. In view of these results, autogenous iliac crest bone grafts are still the unrivalled standard for defect repair in spinal surgery.

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