Bone graft substitutes and bone morphogenetic proteins for osteoporotic fractures: what is the evidence?

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Despite improvements in implants and surgical techniques, osteoporotic fractures remain challenging to treat. Among other major risk factors, decreased expression of morphogenetic proteins has been identified for impaired fracture healing in osteoporosis. Bone grafts or bone graft substitutes are often used for stabilizing the implant and for providing a scaffold for ingrowth of new bone. Both synthetic and naturally occurring biomaterials are available. Products generally contain hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, calcium phosphate cement, calcium sulfate (plaster of Paris), or combinations of the above. Products have been used for the treatment of osteoporotic fractures of the proximal humerus, distal radius, vertebra, hip, and tibia plateau. Although there is generally consensus that screw augmentation increased the biomechanical properties and implant stability, the results of using these products for void filling are not unequivocal. In osteoporotic patients, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) have the potential impact to improve fracture healing by augmenting the impaired molecular and cellular mechanisms. However, the clinical evidence on the use of BMPs in patients with osteoporotic fractures is poor as there are no published clinical trials, case series or case studies. Even pre-clinical literature on in vitro and in vivo data is weak as most articles focus on the beneficial role for BMPs for restoration of the underlying pathophysiological factors of osteoporosis but do not look at the specific effects on osteoporotic fracture healing. Limited data on animal experiments suggest stimulation of fracture healing in ovariectomized rats by the use of BMPs. In conclusion, there is only limited data on the clinical relevance and optimal indications for the use of bone graft substitute materials and BMPs on the treatment of osteoporotic fractures despite the clinical benefits of these materials in other clinical indications. Given the general compromised outcome in osteoporotic fractures and limited alternatives for enhancement of fracture healing, clinicians and researchers should focus on this important topic and provide more data in this field in order to enable a sound clinical use of these materials in osteoporotic fractures. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)S43-S46
JournalInjury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • EMC MUSC-01-47-01

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