Adipose tissue – A new window of insight into bone remodelling?

Fat grafts transplanted into surgically created bone defects inhibit local bone regeneration. This phenomenon is employed to good effect by surgeons.

In neurosurgery, fat grafts prevent constriction of the spinal cord by laminectomy membrane composed of scar tissue and bony callus. Also, following the resection of a segment of ulnar diaphysis or a transphyseal bone bridge in growing dogs and children, the insertion of a fat graft prevents the local regeneration of bone; effectively producing a localised atrophic non-union and allowing continued bone growth (1,2). Since fat grafts are composed mainly of adipocytes embedded in a sparse fibrous stroma, it has been assumed that a piece of fat filling a bony void simply prevents the ingrowth of fibrovascular tissue and subsequent bone callus formation.

Kenneth A. Johnson

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 5/2009

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