Radiological and histological analysis of cortical allografts: an experimental study in sheep femora

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IntroductionWe developed an experimental model in sheep femora to evaluate the process of cortical allograft incorporation.Materials and methodsTwenty-four sheep were divided into four groups according to the various treatments of cortical allografts as follows: fresh, frozen, autoclaved, and frozen with perforation. Periodical radiographic and histological evaluations were performed for each group.ResultsPerforated frozen allograft proved to be superior radiographically in the first stage to fresh, frozen, and autoclaved forms. Revascularization was demonstrated by both Spalteholz's technique and histological examination. Histological analysis also showed creeping substitution, from the host bone to the allograft, which increased the reabsorption to facilitate new bone penetration, including endochondral ossification at the host-graft interface.ConclusionWe believe that endochondral ossification is probably a biological event occurring routinely during the bone healing process and that the processes of incorporation of variously treated cortical allografts differ only at the early phase of implantation.

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