Background aims: Long-bone pseudoarthrosis is a major orthopedic concern because of numerous factors such as difficulty of the treatment, high recurrence, high costs and the devastating effects on the patients' quality of life, which sometimes ends in amputation. Although the "gold standard" for the treatment of this pathology is autologous bone grafting, which has high osteogenic, osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties, this treatment presents some restrictions such as the limited amount of bone that can be taken from the patient and donor site morbidity. Bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) comprise progenitor and stem cells with pro-angiogenic and pro-osteogenic properties. Allogenic cancellous bone graft is a natural and biodegradable osteoconductive and osteoinductive scaffold. Combination of these two components could mimic the advantages of autologous bone grafting while avoiding its main limitations.
Methods: Long-bone pseudoarthrosis was treated in seven patients with autologous BM-MNCs from iliac crest combined with frozen allogenic cancellous bone graft obtained from the tissue bank.
Results: All patients showed complete bone consolidation 5.3 ± 0.9 months (range, 2-9 months) after cell transplantation. Moreover, limb pain disappeared in all of them. The mean follow-up was 35.8 ± 4.6 months after transplantation (range, 24-51 months) without pseudoarthrosis recurrence or pain reappearing.
Conclusions: Combination of autologous BM-MNCs and allogenic bone graft could constitute an easy, safe, inexpensive and efficacious attempt to treat long-bone pseudoarthrosis and non-union by reproducing the beneficial properties of autologous bone grafting while restricting its disadvantages.
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