Acta Orthopaedica, 89:3, 302-307, DOI: 10.1080/17453674.2018.1460776

Bone mineral density changes in the graft after acetabular impaction bone grafting in primary and revision hip surgery

Davey M J M Gerhardt, Enrico De Visser, Baudewijn W Hendrickx, Berend W Schreurs & Job L C Van Susante

Background and purpose — Impaction bone grafting (IBG) is an established method in hip revision surgery to reconstruct loss of bone stock. There is limited knowledge concerning the actual bone remodelling process within the allograft. We investigated with repeated bone mineral density (BMD) measurements the biological process of bone remodelling in the allograft in vivo. We hypothesized that an initial decrease in BMD would be followed by an increase towards baseline values.

Patients and methods — Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to measure BMD values in 3 regions of interest (ROI) in 20 patients (average age at surgery 70 years, 11 males) after an acetabular reconstruction with IBG and a cemented cup. A postoperative DXA was used as baseline and DXA was repeated at 3 and 6 months and at 1 and 2 years. The Oxford Hip Score (OHS), the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF12), and a 0 to 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain and satisfaction were obtained simultaneously.

Results — The overall mean BMD in the IBG regions increased significantly by 9% (95% CI 2–15) at 2 years’ follow-up. In the cranial ROI BMD increased 14% (CI 6–22), whereas the BMD in the medial and caudal ROI showed an increase of 10% (CI 1–18) and 4% (CI –6–16), respectively. The OHS, SF12-mental, and VAS for pain all improved statistically significantly 2 years after surgery, with a mean VAS for satisfaction of 77 (CI 63–90) out of 100 points. The SF12-physical showed non-significant improvement.

Interpretation — The BMD in the allograft gradually increased after IBG for acetabular reconstruction arthroplasties, particularly in the cranial ROI. An initial decrease in the BMD was not encountered. These BMD changes, as proxy measurements for bone remodeling, may indicate progressive apposition of vital new host bone in the grafted area.

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