Distraction osteogenesis is used for the reconstruction of extensive osseous defects. Delay in docking site consolidation results in significant prolongation of this surgical procedure. The primary aim of the present study was to retrospectively compare three different treatment options, all aimed at improving and accelerating docking site consolidation. We further sought to clarify whether the application of autologous bone marrow cells combined with demineralized bone matrix would substantially improve docking site consolidation.Methods:
Between 1995 and 2008, forty-three patients (mean age, 38.28 years) were managed with bone transport for the treatment of a tibial bone defect (mean length, 9.49 cm). The patients were divided into three groups according to the "docking site procedure" used: closed compression (Group A), surgical debridement of the docking site and application of autologous iliac bone graft (Group B), or surgical debridement and local application of bone marrow concentrate and demineralized bone matrix (Group C). Docking site consolidation was assessed both radiographically and clinically, and the results were statistically analyzed.Results:
The median "healing time" required for docking site consolidation was significantly longer in the compression group as compared with the demineralized bone matrix plus bone marrow group (p = 0.021), whereas there was no difference between the other groups. There was no significant difference among the groups in terms of complication rates (p = 0.702). Docking site consolidation was completed prior to regenerate consolidation in nine of the ten patients in Group C and in 13.6% of the patients in Group B, whereas in all of the remaining patients, completion of regenerate healing always preceded docking site consolidation.Conclusions:
The application of demineralized bone matrix and autologous bone marrow is at least equivalent to autologous cancellous bone graft in terms of substantially reducing docking site healing time compared with closed compression alone. The application of demineralized bone matrix and autologous bone marrow is an effective treatment option, with minimal donor site morbidity, for reducing consolidation time of the docking site in tibial defects treated with distraction osteogenesis.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.