Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



I had a total hip joint replacement six months ago after a bad hip fracture. There was a lot of bone damage from the fracture. A bone graft was used to shape the new hip socket. Unfortunately, the bone graft failed. Is there any way to make a stronger bone graft next time?


Scientists are working on this very problem. They’ve found graft material can be strengthened by washing it. The pieces of bone are put through a multi-level sieve (strainer). Fat, debris, and other non-bone particles are rinsed out. After washing, the pieces of bone fit together more closely and can accept more pressure. Researchers in Scotland have discovered that different particle sizes and shapes also make bone graft stronger. The uneven edges allow for tighter interlocking pieces. The graft is more compacted when a broad range of particle sizes are used. Douglas G. Dunlop, MD, FRCS, FRCSED (TR and Orth), et al. Techniques to Improve the Shear Strength of Impacted Bone Graft. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 4. Pp. 639-646.

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