An investigation of the effect of AlloMatrix bone graft in distal radial fracture

A prospective randomised controlled clinical trial

P. D’Agostino, O. Barbier


The osteoinductive properties of demineralised bone matrix have been demonstrated in animal studies. However, its therapeutic efficacy has yet to be proven in humans. The clinical properties of AlloMatrix, an injectable calcium-based demineralised bone matrix allograft, were studied in a prospective randomised study of 50 patients with an isolated unstable distal radial fracture treated by reduction and Kirschner (K-) wire fixation. A total of 24 patients were randomised to the graft group (13 men and 11 women, mean age 42.3 years (20 to 62)) and 26 to the no graft group (8 men and 18 women, mean age 45.0 years (17 to 69)).

At one, three, six and nine weeks, and six and 12 months post-operatively, patients underwent radiological evaluation, assessments for range of movement, grip and pinch strength, and also completed the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire. At one and six weeks and one year post-operatively, bone mineral density evaluations of both wrists were performed.

No significant difference in wrist function and speed of recovery, rate of union, complications or bone mineral density was found between the two groups. The operating time was significantly higher in the graft group (p = 0.004). Radiologically, the reduction parameters remained similar in the two groups and all AlloMatrix extraosseous leakages disappeared after nine weeks.

This prospective randomised controlled trial did not demonstrate a beneficial effect of AlloMatrix demineralised bone matrix in the treatment of this category of distal radial fractures treated by K-wire fixation.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:1514–20.


  • The authors would like to thank J-P. Devogelaer for his advice on bone densitometry, B. Francq for assistance with the statistical analysis and A. Ruijs for revising the English version of the article.

    No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

    This article was primary edited by P. Baird and first-proof edited by G. Scott.

  • Received July 16, 2012.
  • Accepted July 6, 2013.
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