Role of Platelet-derived Growth Factor in Hindfoot Fusion

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Abstract

Bone healing that is orchestrated by osteoblasts and osteoclasts is regulated by a complex interaction between biochemical factors such as cytokines and growth factors. One of the critical early growth factors that have an influence on healing is platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). PDGF is a family of polypeptides that has the ability to attract and stimulate the metabolic activity of mesenchymal cells, stimulating a repair process that includes increased bone formation. Recently, a fully synthetic bone graft material composed of recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor and a β-tricalcium phosphate matrix under the name Augment Bone Graft was shown to be a safe alternative to autogenous bone graft for hindfoot fusion operations. This review provides an overview of the role of PDGF in the biology of bone healing and examines the clinical utility and most recent literature regarding efficacy of the use of PDGF as a safe alternative to autogenous bone graft for hindfoot fusion operations. Finally, the surgical procedure of ankle arthrodesis is described as an example of how PDGF may be used for surgical treatment of end-stage hindfoot arthritis.

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