Editorials

The trouble with bone allograft

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7107.498 (Published 30 August 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:498

We need a safe, abundant alternative

  1. Fabian H Norman-Taylor, Specialist registrara,
  2. Nicola Santori, Clinical research fellowb,
  3. Richard N Villar, Consultant orthopaedic surgeonb
  1. a Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Addenbrooke's Hospital NHS Trust, Cambridge CB2 2QQ
  2. b Cambridge Hip and Knee Unit, Cambridge Lea Hospital, Cambridge CB4 5PD

    Allogeneic bone is the most commonly grafted tissue.1 Its applications are expanding in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery, notably in the restoration of bone stock in patients undergoing revision hip replacement or surgical treatment for bone tumours. This expansion has occurred despite concerns about the supply and safety of allogeneic bone grafts and the complications of the procedure.1 2 3 4 5 6 In the absence of an alternative, however, demand has begun to outstrip supply.

    Bone tissue for allograft is obtained mainly through the donation of femoral heads from primary hip replacement. Guidelines have been developed which stipulate strict criteria for donation.3 7 As a result, up to 50% of potential donors are excluded. The remainder are tested for antibodies to HIV-1, …

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