Introduction: Nonunion is a common complication (15%) of hindfoot and ankle arthrodesis. Autograft can improve the fusion rate because of its osteoconductive, osteoinductive and osteogenic properties. However, autograft harvesting is a source of morbidity. One alternative is to combine allograft with demineralized bone matrix (DBM) and iliac bone marrow aspirate (BMA). This combination graft has similar biological properties to healthy bone. When used alone, allograft has osteoconductive and sometimes structural properties. DBM provides osteoinduction and improves the osteconductivity. BMA adds cells and thereby osteogenic potential.
Hypothesis: Given its intrinsic properties, allograft-DBM-BMA is as effective as autograft-DBM treatment while simplifying the clinical practice.
Material and methods: One hundred and fifteen cases of ankle and hindfoot arthrodesis were studied in 82 patients divided in two groups: autograft-DBM vs allograft-DBM-BMA. Treatment effectiveness was assessed using clinical (time to fusion, fusion rate) and radiological (trabecular bone bridge, disappearance of joint space) criteria. A CT scan was done in 60% of cases when fusion could not be confirmed using the clinical and radiological criteria.
Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of fusion rate, time to fusion, number of heterotopic ossifications, revision rate and quantity of DBM used. The nonunion rate was 18% in the autograft group and 13% in the allograft group. The infection rate was 11% in the autograft and 4% in the allograft group.
Discussion: Allograft-DBM-BMA is an alternative to autograft-DBM that provides similar effectiveness without increasing the number of nonunion or complications. Osteonecrosis and surgical revision are risk factors.
Level of evidence: III retrospective study.
Keywords: Allograft; Arthrodesis; Autograft; Demineralized bone matrix.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.