Distraction osteogenesis after post-traumatic segmental bone loss of the tibia is a complex and time-consuming procedure that is often complicated due to prolonged consolidation or complete insufficiency of the regenerate. The aim of this feasibility study was to investigate the potential of bone marrow aspiration concentrate (BMAC) for percutaneous regenerate augmentation to accelerate bony consolidation of the regenerate. Eight patients (age 22-64) with an average posttraumatic bone defect of 82.4 mm and concomitant risk factors (nicotine abuse, soft-tissue defects, obesity and/or circulatory disorders) were treated with a modified Ilizarov external frame using an intramedullary cable transportation system. At the end of the distraction phase, each patient was treated with a percutaneously injection of autologous BMAC into the centre of the regenerate. The concentration factor was analysed using flow cytometry. The mean follow up after frame removal was 10 (4-15) months. With a mean healing index (HI) of 36.9 d/cm, bony consolidation of the regenerate was achieved in all eight cases. The mean concentration factor of the bone marrow aspirate was 4.6 (SD 1.23). No further operations concerning the regenerate were needed and no adverse effects were observed with the BMAC procedure. This procedure can be used for augmentation of the regenerate in cases of segmental bone transport. Further studies with a larger number of patients and control groups are needed to evaluate a possible higher success rate and accelerating effects on regenerate healing.
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