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Addition of a Vascular Bundle Accelerates Bone Union in Femoral Bone Defects
Background The Masquelet method has become increasingly popular for the treatment of bone defects in recent years. In this method, an induced membrane (IM) with abundant blood circulation, stem cells, and osteogenesis-promoting factors is formed by implanting bone cement during the first surgery. This IM stimulates bone formation in the bone defect after implantation of the bone graft during the second surgery. However, the Masquelet method requires two surgeries and thus a longer treatment period. In the present study, we investigated whether bone defects could be reconstructed in a single surgery by introducing a vascular bundle into the bone defect as an alternative to the IM, in addition to bone grafting.
Methods Thirty-six 12-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were used. After creating a 5-mm long bone defect in the femur, a mixture of autologous and artificial bone was grafted into the defect, and a saphenous arteriovenous vascular bundle was introduced. The animals were divided into three groups: the control group (bone defect only), the BG group (bone grafting only), and the BG + V group (bone grafting + vascular bundle introduction). After surgery, radiological and histological evaluations were performed to assess osteogenesis and angiogenesis in bone defects.
Results In the BG + V group, significant bone formation was observed in the bone defect on radiological and histological evaluations, and the amount of bone formation was significantly higher than that in the other two groups. Furthermore, cortical bone continuity was observed in many specimens in the BG + V group. On histological evaluation, the number of blood vessels was also significantly higher in the BG + V group than in the other two groups.
Conclusion Our results suggest that the introduction of a vascular bundle in addition to bone grafting can promote bone formation in bone defects and allow for complete bone defect reconstruction in a single surgery.
Received: 23 August 2021
Accepted: 27 December 2021
Article published online:
10 March 2022
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