Bone defect healing after chronically infected non-union

AO Trauma


One of the few treatment modalities for large bone defects after treatment of fracture related infection is the induced membrane technique (IMT), however, prior to developing new interventions that treat infection and support bone healing, a suitable animal model is required. 




To develop a rabbit humerus defect model that includes IMT and bone grafting due to infection.



The first step was to transform our well-established model of humeral osteotomy in rabbits into a 5 mm defect model. The defect was filled with a PMMA spacer (Figure) to induce a membrane. After three weeks, the PMMA spacer was removed and exchanged for either a bone void filler (Tricalciumphosphate) or the defect was left empty. In total 11 rabbits were operated successfully suggesting the model is functional and early results (Figure 11.3.14) suggest bone healing is ongoing in the defect-filled group. Outlook: in 2020 it is planned to further characterize the induced membrane in this rabbit model and afterwards to introduce a local infection.

  • Partner

    Mario Morgenstern (MD), University Hospital Basel, Switzerland

    Willem-Jan Metsemakers (Prof), University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium

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