Objective—To compare the efficacy of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2)/calcium phosphate (CP) to autogenous cancellous bone graft (CBG) and to no treatment on bone healing, in surgically induced osteotomies and ostectomies of the accessory metatarsal bones in an equine model.
Animals—Adult horses (n=9).
Methods—Segmental ostectomies of the second metatarsal bone (MT2) and osteotomies of the fourth metatarsal bone (MT4) were performed bilaterally in 9 horses. There were a total of 35 defects (1 MT4 was previously fractured) created and supplemented randomly either with no treatment (untreated control), rhBMP-2/CP cement, or matrix (CPC or CPM), or CBG. Radiography was performed every 2 weeks until study endpoint at 12 weeks. After euthanasia, bone healing was evaluated using radiography, mechanical testing, and histology. Data were analyzed with ANOVA followed by the Duncan's Multiple Range Test or nonparametric analyses.
Results—At 12 weeks, radiographic scores for union were significantly greater for the rhBMP-2 (P<.0001) and CBG (P=.004) groups compared with the untreated control group, for both MT2 ostectomies and MT4 osteotomies. The rhBMP-2 treated MT2 had greater maximum torque to failure in torsion than CBG and control limbs at 12 weeks (P=.011). Histologic analysis demonstrated increased bone formation and more mature bone at the ostectomy site for MT2 in the rhBMP-2 and CBG groups compared with the untreated control group.
Conclusion—Injection of rhBMP-2/CP into surgically induced ostectomies and osteotomies of the accessory metatarsal bones might accelerate early bone healing in the horse.
Clinical Relevance—RhBMP-2/CP may be as effective if not superior to CBG as an adjuvant treatment to accelerate healing of bone defects.