Purpose: To evaluate granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) efficacy in accelerating bone regeneration following opening-wedge high tibial valgus osteotomy for genu varum.
Methods: A phase II trial was conducted for evaluating the preoperative administration of G-CSF given at 10 μg/kg/day for 3 consecutive days with an additional half-dose 4 h before the opening-wedge high tibial valgus osteotomy. Overall, 12 patients (Group A) received G-CSF treatment, and the subsequent 12 patients (Group B) underwent surgery without G-CSF. The osteotomy gap was filled by a bone graft substitute. Bone marrow cell (BMC) mobilization was monitored by CD34+ve cell and clonogenic progenitor cell analysis. All patients underwent a clinical (Lysholm Knee Scale and SF-36) and radiographic evaluation preoperatively, as well as at given intervals postsurgery.
Results: All patients completed the treatment program without major side effects; G-CSF was well tolerated. BMC mobilization occurred in all Group A patients, with median peak values of circulating CD34+ve cells of 110/μL (range 29-256). Circulating clonogenic progenitors paralleled CD34+ve cell levels. A significant improvement in Lysholm Knee Scale was recorded at follow-up in Group A compared to Group B. At the radiographic evaluation, there was a significant increase in osseointegration at the bone-graft junction in Group A at 1, 2, 3 and 6 months postsurgery compared to Group B. The computerized tomography scan of the grafted area at 2 months postsurgery showed no significant difference in the quality of the newly formed bone between the two Groups.
Conclusions: Although the limited number of patients does not allow firm conclusions, the study suggests that G-CSF can be safely administered preoperatively in subjects undergoing opening-wedge high tibial valgus osteotomy; in addition, the clinical, radiographic and CT monitoring indicate that G-CSF and/or mobilized BMCs may hasten bone graft substitute osseointegration.
Level of evidence: I.