Bioactive glass S53P4 vs. autologous bone graft for filling defects in patients with chronic osteomyelitis and infected non-unions – a single center experience

Steinhausen, Eva; Lefering, Rolf; Glombitza, Martin; Brinkmann, Nikolaus; Vogel, Carsten; Mester, Bastian; Dudda, Marcel

Introduction: The goals of osteomyelitis therapy are successful control of infection and reconstruction of the bone. The gold standard for filling defects is the autologous bone graft. Bioactive glass S53P4 is an inorganic bone substitute. We compared the outcome of using bioactive glass (BAG) versus autologous bone graft (AB) in patients with infected non-union. Methods: Patients with chronic osteomyelitis and infected non-union who received either bioactive glass or autologous bone grafts between 2013 and 2017 were analyzed retrospectively. The primary endpoint was successful control of infection during follow-up. Secondary endpoints were bone healing, functional outcome, and occurrence of complications. Results: Eighty-three patients were analyzed (BAG inline-formulan=51, AB inline-formulan=32). Twenty-one patients experienced reinfection (BAG inline-formulan=15, 29 %; AB inline-formulan=6, 19 %). Seventy-eight patients achieved full weight bearing (BAG inline-formulan=47, 92 %; AB inline-formulan=31, 97 %). Sixty-four patients had complete bone healing at the end of the follow-up period (BAG inline-formulan=39, 77 %; AB inline-formulan=25, 78 %). There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the primary or secondary endpoints. Patients with multidrug-resistant pathogens had a significantly higher rate of incomplete bone healing (inline-formulap=0.033) and a 3-fold higher risk of complications in both groups. Conclusions: Bioactive glass appears to be a suitable bone substitute not only for successful control of infection and defect filling but also for bone healing in cases of infected non-union. In our study, bioactive glass was neither superior nor inferior to autologous bone graft with regard to the primary and secondary endpoints. Further studies with larger numbers of patients are required.

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Steinhausen, Eva / Lefering, Rolf / Glombitza, Martin / et al: Bioactive glass S53P4 vs. autologous bone graft for filling defects in patients with chronic osteomyelitis and infected non-unions – a single center experience. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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