We performed a prospective, randomised double-blind study in 24 patients undergoing high tibial osteotomy to evaluate the effectiveness of human recombinant osteogenic protein (OP-1) on a collagen type-I carrier in a critically-sized fibular defect. The study had two phases, each evaluated by clinical, radiological and DEXA methods during the first postoperative year. The first concerned the validation of the model of the fibular defect, using positive (demineralised bone) and negative (untreated) controls. The second phase concerned the osteogenic potential of OP-1 on collagen type-I ν collagen type-I alone.
The results of the first phase established the critically-sized nature of the defect. In the untreated group no bony changes were observed while, in the demineralised bone group, formation of new bone was visible from six weeks onwards. The results of the second phase showed no significant formation of new bone in the presence of collagen alone, while in the OP-1 group, all patients except one showed formation of new bone from six weeks onwards. This proved the osteogenic activity of OP-1 in a validated critically-sized human defect.
- Received July 21, 1998.
- Accepted November 11, 1998.
- © 1999 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery