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Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 7, Issue 12 | Pages 620 - 628
1 Dec 2018
Tätting L Sandberg O Bernhardsson M Ernerudh J AspenbergP


Cortical and cancellous bone healing processes appear to be histologically different. They also respond differently to anti-inflammatory agents. We investigated whether the leucocyte composition on days 3 and 5 after cortical and cancellous injuries to bone was different, and compared changes over time using day 3 as the baseline.


Ten-week-old male C56/Bl6J mice were randomized to either cancellous injury in the proximal tibia or cortical injury in the femoral diaphysis. Regenerating tissues were analyzed with flow cytometry at days 3 and 5, using panels with 15 antibodies for common macrophage and lymphocyte markers. The cellular response from day 3 to 5 was compared in order to identify differences in how cancellous and cortical bone healing develop.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 99-B, Issue 3 | Pages 317 - 324
1 Mar 2017
Schilcher J Palm L Ivarsson I Aspenberg P


Post-operative migration of cemented acetabular components as measured by radiostereometric analysis (RSA) has a strong predictive power for late, aseptic loosening. Also, radiolucent lines predict late loosening. Migration has been reduced by systemic bisphosphonate treatment in randomised trials of hip and knee arthroplasty. Used as a local treatment, a higher local dose of bisphosphonate can be achieved without systemic exposure. We wished to see if this principle could be applied usefully in total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Patients and Methods

In this randomised placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial with 60 participants, we compressed gauze soaked in bisphosphonate solution (ibandronate) or saline against the acetabular bone bed immediately before cementing the acetabular component. RSA, classification of radiolucent lines, the Harris Hip Score (HHS) and the Western Ontario McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) were carried out at three-, six-, 12-, and 24-month follow-up.

Bone & Joint Research
Vol. 4, Issue 10 | Pages 170 - 175
1 Oct 2015
Sandberg OH Aspenberg P


Healing in cancellous metaphyseal bone might be different from midshaft fracture healing due to different access to mesenchymal stem cells, and because metaphyseal bone often heals without a cartilaginous phase. Inflammation plays an important role in the healing of a shaft fracture, but if metaphyseal injury is different, it is important to clarify if the role of inflammation is also different. The biology of fracture healing is also influenced by the degree of mechanical stability. It is unclear if inflammation interacts with stability-related factors.


We investigated the role of inflammation in three different models: a metaphyseal screw pull-out, a shaft fracture with unstable nailing (IM-nail) and a stable external fixation (ExFix) model. For each, half of the animals received dexamethasone to reduce inflammation, and half received control injections. Mechanical and morphometric evaluation was used.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 5 | Pages 670 - 675
1 May 2009
Agholme F Aspenberg P

Soaking bone grafts in a bisphosphonate solution before implantation can prevent their resorption and increase the local bone density in rats and humans. However, recent studies suggest that pre-treatment of allografts with bisphosphonate can prevent bone ingrowth into impaction grafts. We tested the hypothesis that excessive amounts of bisphosphonate would also cause a negative response in less dense grafts. We used a model where non-impacted metaphyseal bone grafts were randomised into three groups with either no bisphosphonate, alendronate followed by rinsing, and alendronate without subsequent rinsing, and inserted into bone chambers in rats. The specimens were evaluated histologically at one week, and by histomorphometry and radiology at four weeks. At four weeks, both bisphosphonate groups showed an increase in the total bone content, increased newly formed bone, and higher radiodensity than the controls. In spite of being implanted in a chamber with a limited opportunity to diffuse, even an excessive amount of bisphosphonate improved the outcome. We suggest that the negative results seen by others could be due to the combination of densely compacted bone and a bisphosphonate.

We suggest that bisphosphonates are likely to have a negative influence where resorption is a prerequisite to create space for new bone ingrowth.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 90-B, Issue 3 | Pages 400 - 404
1 Mar 2008
Johansson HR Skripitz R Aspenberg P

We have examined the deterioration of implant fixation after withdrawal of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in rats. First, the pull-out force for stainless-steel screws in the proximal tibia was measured at different times after withdrawal. The stimulatory effect of PTH on fixation was lost after 16 days. We then studied whether bisphosphonates could block this withdrawal effect. Mechanical and histomorphometric measurements were conducted for five weeks after implantation. Subcutaneous injections were given daily. Specimens treated with either PTH or saline during the first two weeks showed no difference in the mechanical or histological results (pull-out force 76 N vs 81 N; bone volume density 19% vs 20%). Treatment with PTH for two weeks followed by pamidronate almost doubled the pull-out force (152 N; p < 0.001) and the bone volume density (37%; ANOVA, p < 0.001). Pamidronate alone did not have this effect (89 N and 25%, respectively). Thus, the deterioration can be blocked by bisphosphonates. The clinical implications are discussed.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 90-B, Issue 3 | Pages 388 - 392
1 Mar 2008
Virchenko O Aspenberg P Lindahl TL

Thrombin has many biological properties similar to those of growth factors. In a previous study, we showed that thrombin improves healing of the rat tendo Achillis. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) inhibits the activity and the generation of thrombin. We therefore considered that LMWH at a thromboprophylactic dose might inhibit tendon repair.

Transection of the tendo Achillis was carried out in 86 rats and the healing tested mechanically. Low molecular weight heparin (dalateparin) was either injected a few minutes before the operation and then given continuously with an osmotic mini pump for seven days, or given as one injection before the operation. In another experiment ,we gave LMWH or a placebo by injection twice daily. The anti-factor Xa activity was analysed.

Continuous treatment with LMWH impaired tendon healing. After seven days, this treatment caused a 33% reduction in force at failure, a 20% reduction in stiffness and a 67% reduction in energy uptake. However, if injected twice daily, LMWH had no effect on tendon healing. Anti-factor Xa activity was increased by LMWH treatment, but was normal between intermittent injections.

Low molecular weight heparin delays tendon repair if given continuously, but not if injected intermittently, probably because the anti-factor Xa activity between injections returns to normal, allowing sufficient thrombin stimulation for repair. These findings indicate the need for caution in the assessment of long-acting thrombin and factor Xa inhibitors.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 8 | Pages 993 - 996
1 Aug 2006
Kesteris U Aspenberg P

During revision total hip replacement using morcellised compacted bone allograft, 16 patients were randomised to receive a graft which had been rinsed in either an ibandronate solution or in saline. Patients were assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry after operation and at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. A region of interest between the tip of the femoral stem and the distal plastic plug was chosen to measure the changes in bone density over time. The study was double-blinded. In all the control patients the bone density decreased during the first three months and then remained constant at this lower level. A large proportion of the mass of the bone graft was lost. In contrast, all patients with grafts treated with bisphosphonate showed a slight increase in bone density. The difference between the groups was highly significant at all points in time.

We conclude that rinsing the graft in a bisphosphonate solution prevents its resorption and may therefore reduce the risk of mechanical failure. The treatment is simple, inexpensive, and appears virtually free of risk.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 3 | Pages 437 - 440
1 Apr 2001
Skripitz R Aspenberg P

The intermittent administration of parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases the formation of bone by stimulating osteoblastic activity. Our study evaluates the possibility that intermittent treatment with PTH (1-34) may also enhance the implant-bone fixation of stainless-steel screws. Twenty-eight rats received one screw in either one (n = 8) or in both (n = 20) proximal tibiae. We administered either PTH (1-34) in a dosage of 60 μg/kg/day (n = 14) or vehicle (n = 14) over a period of four weeks. At the end of this time, the degree of fixation was assessed by measuring the removal torque on one screw in each rat (n = 28) and the pull-out strength on the contralateral screw (n = 20). PTH increased the mean removal torque from 1.1 to 3.5 Ncm (p = 0.001) and the mean pull-out strength from 66 to 145 N (p = 0.002). No significant differences in body-weight or ash weight of the femora were seen. Histological examination showed that both groups had areas of soft tissue at the implant-bone interface, but these appeared less in the PTH group. These results indicate that intermittent treatment with PTH may enhance the early fixation of orthopaedic implants.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 1 | Pages 138 - 141
1 Jan 2000
Skripitz R Andreassen TT Aspenberg P

Intermittent treatment with parathyroid hormone (PTH) has an anabolic effect on both intact cancellous and cortical bone. Very little is known about the effect of the administration of PTH on the healing of fractures or the incorporation of orthopaedic implants. We have investigated the spontaneous ingrowth of callus and the formation of bone in a titanium chamber implanted at the medioproximal aspect of the tibial metaphysis of the rat. Four groups of ten male rats weighing approximately 350 g were injected with human PTH (1-34) in a dosage of 0, 15, 60 or 240 μg/kg/day, respectively, for 42 days from the day of implantation of the chamber.

During the observation period the chamber became only partly filled with callus and bone and no difference in ingrowth distance into the chamber was found between the groups. The cancellous density was increased by 90%, 132% and 173% in the groups given PTH in a dosage of 15, 60 or 240 μg/kg/day, respectively. There was a linear correlation between bone density and the log PTH doses (r2= 0.6).

Our findings suggest that treatment with PTH may have a potential for enhancement of the incorporation of orthopaedic implants as well as a beneficial effect on the healing of fractures when it is given in low dosages.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 6 | Pages 1069 - 1075
1 Nov 1999
Goodman SB Song Y Chun L Regula D Aspenberg P

We implanted bone harvest chambers (BHCs) bilaterally in ten mature male New Zealand white rabbits. Polyethylene particles (0.3 ± 0.1 −m in diameter, 6.4×1012 particles/ml) were implanted for two, four or six weeks bilaterally in the BHCs, with subsequent removal of the ingrown tissue after each treatment. In addition to the particles, one side also received 1.5 −g of recombinant transforming growth factor ß1 (TGFβ1).

At two weeks, the bone area as a percentage of total area was less in chambers containing TGFβ compared with those with particles alone (7.8 ± 1.3% v 16.9 ± 2.7% respectively; 95% confidence interval (CI) for difference -14.0 to -4.30; p = 0.002). At four weeks, the percentage area of bone was greater in chambers containing TGFβ compared with those with particles alone (31.2 ± 3.4% v 22.5 ± 2.0% respectively; 95% CI for difference 1.0 to 16.4; p = 0.03). There were no statistical differences at six weeks, despite a higher mean value with TGFβ treatment (38.2 ± 3.9% v 28.8 ± 3.5%; 95% CI for difference -4.6 to 23.3; p = 0.16). The number of vitronectin-receptor-positive cells (osteoclast-like cells) was greater in the treatment group with TGFβ compared with that with particles alone; most of these positive cells were located in the interstitium, rather than adjacent to bone.

TGFβ1 is a pleotropic growth factor which can modulate cellular events in the musculoskeletal system in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Our data suggest that there is an early window at between two and six weeks, in which TGFβ may favourably affect bone ingrowth in the BHC model. Exogenous growth factors such as TGFβ may be a useful adjunct in obtaining osseointegration and bone ingrowth, especially in revisions when there is compromised bone stock and residual particulate debris.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 4 | Pages 641 - 646
1 Jul 1996
Aspenberg P Herbertsson P

Using a rat model, we created a bone-to-titanium interface and applied phagocytosable high-density polyethylene pArticles between the bone and implant, either initially or when the interface had matured. No fibrous membrane developed and no bone resorption was found.

If sliding movements were initiated at the interface after two weeks, there was formation of a fibrous membrane. The additional application of pArticles did not change the thickness of the membrane, and there were only minor qualitative changes. Creation of a membrane by movement followed by cessation of movement and the application of pArticles caused the membrane to persist, whereas in a pArticle-free control group bone-to-metal contact was re-established.

Our findings suggest that mechanical stimuli are of primary importance for prosthetic loosening, and that pArticles may modulate the later stages of the loosening process.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 72-B, Issue 6 | Pages 1036 - 1037
1 Nov 1990
Aspenberg P Johnsson E Thorngren K

Sterilisation of demineralised bone matrix with ethylene oxide has been claimed to destroy the ability of bone matrix to induce new bone formation on intramuscular implantation. Other workers have routinely used ethylene oxide sterilised bone matrix for assays in rodents without detrimental effects. We studied the effects of various lengths of exposure to ethylene oxide gas, and found that bone induction properties are destroyed in a dose-dependent manner. After a short exposure, bone induction properties were moderately diminished. However, this short ethylene oxide treatment did not kill Bacillus subtilis spores. A sterilisation procedure that killed these spores rendered the implants incapable of bone-induction.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 70-B, Issue 4 | Pages 625 - 627
1 Aug 1988
Aspenberg P Lohmander L Thorngren K

Extraskeletal bone formation can be induced in rodents by implantation of demineralised bone matrix and such implantation has been used to treat bone defects in man, but it is uncertain if induction or merely conduction occurs. We studied bone induction in primates by excising segments of the fibulae of adult squirrel monkeys, defatting and demineralising them before reimplanting them into the quadriceps of the same animal. As a control experiment, rat matrix was prepared in exactly the same way and implanted in rats. After six weeks the implants were harvested and either ashed and analysed for calcium content or prepared for histology. In the rats, the calcium content indicated that about 20% of the original matrix had been replaced by new bone. In the monkeys the calcium content was about the same as that in normal body fluid and no bone was seen in histological sections. This result casts doubt on the use of demineralised human bone matrix as a bone inductor, although it may function by other mechanisms.