In a study of 214 patients who were subjected to 278 operations in which sterile homogenous bone grafts were used, wound infection occurred in four cases (1.4 per cent.) and there was loss of the grafts in two (0.7 per cent.).
In a follow-up study to determine the final results with respect to healing of the refrigerated homogenous bone grafts, 144 patients were traced who had undergone 179 orthopaedic operations for a large variety of conditions. Considered on a basis of the number of operations, the results were found to be successful in 80 per cent. and unsuccessful in 11 per cent. Fifteen patients (9 per cent.) had undergone operations too recently for a determination of the results. By eliminating four cases in which the failure was unrelated to bone healing, the rate of failure can be lowered to 8 per cent.
This study justified the following conclusions:
1. With careful technique, homogenous bone grafts may he preserved for long periods of time for surgical use.
2. Such grafts are well tolerated by human tissues and the risk of infection is no greater than with autogenous grafts.
3. The healing of such grafts takes place by a process of invasion, absorption, and replacement similar to that of autogenous bone grafts.
4. The results obtained are identical with those from the use of autogenous grafts, except that in some instances the healing appears to be a little slower.
5. The operation of a bone bank is safe and practical. It offers great advantages to the patient and the surgeon from the standpoint of availability, abundance, and the elimination of the necessity of a secondary operation to obtain bone.