The fractures that occur as a result of trauma frequently require multiple stage surgical procedures to achieve adequate union. Bone grafting with autogenous cancellous or cortico cancellous bone grafts is the traditional method used to repair bone defects. Most fractures will heal using this traditional procedure, however a number of fractures, up to 10% of the cases in United States alone, will result in delayed or impaired healing. Novel approaches are currently being investigated for the augmentation and acceleration of fracture healing. Some of these approaches include the use of biodegradable matrices; cell based approaches supplemented with osteogenic factors and genetic therapy. Cell based approaches for fracture healing have roused intense interest because of the great advance in the isolation and expansion of cells from the marrow that have the ability to differentiate into various types of cells including osteoblasts. In addition, the discovery and cloning of several proteins (bone morphogenetic proteins) that have the ability to induce bone formation, have contributed to the investigation of novel approaches to augment fracture healing. Use of genetic therapy for the augmentation of fracture healing has also recently gained strong interest. The attractive feature of gene therapy is that therapeutic proteins can be delivered locally to the fracture site in relatively high concentrations and in a sustained fashion. This review discusses these novel approaches and presents an assessment of their future clinical applicability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)