Bone defects remain a challenge for patients and orthopaedic surgeons. Autologous transfer of cancellous bone grafts remains the standard of care. However, in recent years various osteoinductive substitute materials, such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) have been shown to improve bone healing. This study evaluates the effects of a combined application of PRP and HBO with autologous bone grafting in an animal model.
In 48 New Zealand White rabbits bone defects at the radius were filled with autologous bone harvested at the iliac crest. This was combined with application of autologous PRP and/or HBO treatment for the duration of this study. After 3 and 6 weeks histomorphometric, immunohistochemical and radiologic evaluations were performed.
All animals tolerated the treatment well. Improved bone regeneration was shown in all groups at 6 weeks compared to 3 weeks. Additional application of PRP and HBO resulted in an increase in new bone formation and increased neovascularization at 3 and 6 weeks. There was no statistical significant difference between PRP and HBO application in these regards. A combinatory use of PRP and HBO resulted in an increased bone regeneration and neovascularization compared to all other groups.
This study provides evidence for an improvement of bone regeneration with the combinatory application of PRP and HBO to autologous cancellous bone grafts in a model of weight bearing bone defects in rabbits. Also synergistic effects of these two measures on angiogenesis were evident.