Tibial plateau fractures are often complex injuries that result from high-energy trauma affecting the articular congruity of the knee. Managing tibial plateau fractures can be challenging because of severe depression of the subchondral cancellous bone and concomitant cartilage injury. Bone substitutes are commonly used to fill such defects as part of the surgical treatment of tibial plateau fractures. We describe three cases of tibial plateau fractures managed with a synthetic bone substitute (b.Bone™, GreenBone ORTHO S.p.A Faenza, Italy) with a highly interconnected and porous 3D structure to mimic the hierarchical architecture and morphology of natural human bone
The ability to enhance fracture healing is paramount in modern orthopaedic trauma, particularly in the management of challenging cases including peri-prosthetic fractures, non-union and acute bone loss. Materials utilised in enhancing fracture healing should ideally be osteogenic, osteoinductive, osteoconductive, and facilitate vascular in-growth. Autologous bone graft remains the gold standard, providing all of these qualities. Limitations to this technique include low graft volume and donor site morbidity, with alternative techniques including the use of allograft or xenograft. Artificial scaffolds can provide an osteoconductive construct, however fail to provide an osteoinductive stimulus, and frequently have poor mechanical properties. Recombinant bone morphogenetic proteins can provide an osteoinductive stimulus; however, their licencing is limited and larger studies are required to clarify their role. For recalcitricant non-unions or high-risk cases, the use of composite graft combining the above techniques provides the highest chances of successfully achieving bony union.
Bone generally displays a high intrinsic capacity to regenerate. Nonetheless, large osseous defects sometimes fail to heal. The treatment of such large segmental defects still represents a considerable clinical challenge. The regeneration of large bone defects often proves difficult, since it relies on the formation of large amounts of bone within an environment impedimental to osteogenesis, characterized by soft tissue damage and hampered vascularization. Consequently, research efforts have concentrated on tissue engineering and regenerative medical strategies to resolve this multifaceted challenge. In this review, we summarize, critically evaluate, and discuss present approaches in light of their clinical relevance; we also present future advanced techniques for bone tissue engineering, outlining the steps to realize for their translation from bench to bedside. The discussion includes the physiology of bone healing, requirements and properties of natural and synthetic biomaterials for bone reconstruction, their use in conjunction with cellular components and suitable growth factors, and strategies to improve vascularization and the translation of these regenerative concepts to in vivo applications. We conclude that the ideal all-purpose material for scaffold-guided bone regeneration is currently not available. It seems that a variety of different solutions will be employed, according to the clinical treatment necessary
Harvesting of tricortical bone graft from the iliac crest is an integral part of bone defect reconstruction in orthopaedic surgery. There are several options for filling the iliac crest defect area to avoid hematoma, pain, hernias and cosmetic issues, including different gelatin-based and other alternative biomaterials. Recently, a novel rattan-wood based not-sintered hydroxyapatite and beta-tricalcium phosphate material (b.Bone™, GreenBone ORTHO S.p.A Faenza, Italy) was shown to promote bone healing in an experimental setting. The goal of the current work is to report clinical and radiographical outcomes of a consecutive case series of 9 patients with defect filling at the iliac crest with this novel scaffold biomaterial after tricortical bone graft harvesting with a minimum follow-up of 6 months. All 9 patients (8 male, 1 female) with an average age of 42.7 years (range: 18-76 years) had tricortical bone graft harvesting from the iliac crest for different reconstructive procedures at the extremities and received blocks of the biomaterial with an average size of 26.3 × 16.8 × 10 mm (length, height, width; range: 15 × 15 × 10 to 40 × 20 × 10 mm). Intraoperative handling of the biomaterial was easy and the blocks could be customized to the individual size of the defect with standard surgical instruments and were press-fitted into the defect. All 9 patients showed uneventful wound healing at the iliac crest and 7 patients reported no pain (VAS: 0) and two patients only mild pain (VAS:1 and VAS:3) after an average follow-up of 9.8 months (range: 6-16 months). There was no post-operative hematoma, surgical revision or other implant-related complications at the iliac crest. In all patients, good radiographical integration without dislocation of the implant and good bony integration was observed. The use of this novel biomaterial for iliac crest defect filling was associated with good clinical and radiographical outcomes after an average follow-up of 9.8 months.
Chronic musculoskeletal anterior pelvic pain may originate from a variety of different sources making the diagnosis difficult. Ectopic bone formation on the pubic symphysis is extremely rare and may cause significant disability. Reported herein is the case of a very active patient with symphysis pubis ectopic bone formation causing disability for more than 10 years. Resection of the ectopic bone combined with pubis symphysis fusion led to a successful outcome allowing the patient to return to his previous recreational activities.
Obtaining 3-D inorganic devices with designed chemical composition, complex geometry, hierarchic structure and effective mechanical performance is a major scientific goal, still prevented by insurmountable technological limitations. With particular respect to the biomedical field, there is a lack in solutions ensuring the regeneration of long, load-bearing bone segments such as the ones of limbs, due to the still unmet goal of converging, in a unique device, bioactive chemical composition, multi-scale cell-conducive porosity and a hierarchically organized architecture capable of bearing and managing complex mechanical loads in a unique 3D implant. An emerging, but still very poorly explored approach in this respect, is given by biomorphic transformation processes, aimed at converting natural structures into functional 3D inorganic constructs with smart mechanical performance. Recent studies highlighted the use of heterogeneous gas-solid reactions as a valuable approach to obtain effective transformation of natural woods into hierarchically structured apatitic bone scaffolds. In this light, the present review illustrates critical aspects related to the application of such heterogeneous reactions when occurring in the 3D state, showing the relevance of a thorough kinetic control to achieve controlled phase transformations while maintaining the multi-scale architecture and the outstanding mechanical performance of the starting natural structure. These first results encourage the further investigation towards the biologic structures optimized by nature along the ages and then the development of biomorphic transformations as a radically new approach to enable a technological breakthrough in various research fields and opening to still unexplored industrial applications.