Objectives: To explore the therapeutic potential of combining bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) and hydroxyapatite (HA) granules to treat nonunion of the long bone. Methods: Ten patients with an atrophic nonunion of a long bone fracture were selectively divided into two groups. Five subjects in the treatment group were treated with the combination of 15 million autologous BM-MSCs, 5g/cm3 (HA) granules and internal fixation. Control subjects were treated with iliac crest autograft, 5g/cm3 HA granules and internal fixation. The outcomes measured were post-operative pain (visual analogue scale), level of functionality (LEFS and DASH), and radiograph assessment. Results: Post-operative pain evaluation showed no significant differences between the two groups. The treatment group demonstrated faster initial radiographic and functional improvements. Statistically significant differences in functional scores were present during the first (p = 0.002), second (p = 0.005) and third (p = 0.01) month. Both groups achieved similar outcomes by the end of one-year follow-up. No immunologic or neoplastic side effects were reported. Conclusions: All cases of nonunion of a long bone presented in this study were successfully treated using autologous BM-MSCs. The combination of autologous BM-MSCs and HA granules is a safe method for treating nonunion. Patients treated with BM-MSCs had faster initial radiographic and functional improvements. By the end of 12 months, both groups had similar outcomes.
- Atrophic nonunion of the long bones
- Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs)
- Hydroxyapatite (HA) granules