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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 95-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1022 - 1026
1 Aug 2013
O’Neill SC Queally JM Devitt BM Doran PP O’Byrne JM

Peri-prosthetic osteolysis and subsequent aseptic loosening is the most common reason for revising total hip replacements. Wear particles originating from the prosthetic components interact with multiple cell types in the peri-prosthetic region resulting in an inflammatory process that ultimately leads to peri-prosthetic bone loss. These cells include macrophages, osteoclasts, osteoblasts and fibroblasts. The majority of research in peri-prosthetic osteolysis has concentrated on the role played by osteoclasts and macrophages. The purpose of this review is to assess the role of the osteoblast in peri-prosthetic osteolysis.

In peri-prosthetic osteolysis, wear particles may affect osteoblasts and contribute to the osteolytic process by two mechanisms. First, particles and metallic ions have been shown to inhibit the osteoblast in terms of its ability to secrete mineralised bone matrix, by reducing calcium deposition, alkaline phosphatase activity and its ability to proliferate. Secondly, particles and metallic ions have been shown to stimulate osteoblasts to produce pro inflammatory mediators in vitro. In vivo, these mediators have the potential to attract pro-inflammatory cells to the peri-prosthetic area and stimulate osteoclasts to absorb bone. Further research is needed to fully define the role of the osteoblast in peri-prosthetic osteolysis and to explore its potential role as a therapeutic target in this condition.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:1021–5.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 6 | Pages 755 - 759
1 Jun 2011
Brennan SA Brabazon D O’Byrne JM

We developed a method of applying vibration to the impaction bone grafting process and assessed its effect on the mechanical properties of the impacted graft. Washed morsellised bovine femoral heads were impacted into shear test rings. A range of frequencies of vibration was tested, as measured using an accelerometer housed in a vibration chamber. Each shear test was repeated at four different normal loads to generate stress-strain curves. The Mohr-Coulomb failure envelope from which shear strength and interlocking values are derived was plotted for each test. The experiments were repeated with the addition of blood in order to replicate a saturated environment.

Graft impacted with the addition of vibration at all frequencies showed improved shear strength when compared with impaction without vibration, with 60 Hz giving the largest effect. Under saturated conditions the addition of vibration was detrimental to the shear strength of the aggregate. The civil-engineering principles of particulate settlement and interlocking also apply to impaction bone grafting. Although previous studies have shown that vibration may be beneficial in impaction bone grafting on the femoral side, our study suggests that the same is not true in acetabular revision.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1195 - 1202
1 Sep 2010
Moran CJ Shannon FJ Barry FP O’Byrne JM O’Brien T Curtin W

Orthopaedic surgery is in an exciting transitional period as modern surgical interventions, implants and scientific developments are providing new therapeutic options. As advances in basic science and technology improve our understanding of the pathology and repair of musculoskeletal tissue, traditional operations may be replaced by newer, less invasive procedures which are more appropriately targeted at the underlying pathophysiology. However, evidence-based practice will remain a basic requirement of care. Orthopaedic surgeons can and should remain at the forefront of the development of novel therapeutic interventions and their application. Progression of the potential of bench research into an improved array of orthopaedic treatments in an effective yet safe manner will require the development of a subgroup of specialists with extended training in research to play an important role in bridging the gap between laboratory science and clinical practice. International regulations regarding the introduction of new biological treatments will place an additional burden on the mechanisms of this translational process, and orthopaedic surgeons who are trained in science, surgery and the regulatory environment will be essential. Training and supporting individuals with these skills requires special consideration and discussion by the orthopaedic community.

In this paper we review some traditional approaches to the integration of orthopaedic science and surgery, the therapeutic potential of current regenerative biomedical science for cartilage repair and ways in which we may develop surgeons with the skills required to translate scientific discovery into effective and properly assessed orthopaedic treatments.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 89-B, Issue 6 | Pages 766 - 771
1 Jun 2007
Shannon FJ Cronin JJ Cleary MS Eustace SJ O’Byrne JM

Our aims were to map the tibial footprint of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) using MRI in patients undergoing PCL-preserving total knee replacement, and to document the disruption of this footprint as a result of the tibial cut. In 26 consecutive patients plain radiography and MRI of the knee were performed pre-operatively, and plain radiography post-operatively.

The lower margin of the PCL footprint was located a mean of 1 mm (−10 to 8) above the upper aspect of the fibular head. The mean surface area was 83 mm2 (49 to 142). One-third of patients (8 of 22) had tibial cuts made below the lowest aspect of the PCL footprint (complete removal) and one-third (9 of 22) had cuts extending into the footprint (partial removal). The remaining patients (5 of 22) had footprints unaffected by the cuts, keeping them intact.

Our study highlights the wide variation in the location of the tibial PCL footprint when referenced against the fibula. Proximal tibial cuts using conventional jigs resulted in the removal of a significant portion, if not all of the PCL footprint in most of the patients in our study. Our findings suggest that when performing PCL-retaining total knee replacement the tibial attachment of the PCL is often removed.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 6 | Pages 771 - 775
1 Jun 2006
Shelly MJ Butler JS Timlin M Walsh MG Poynton AR O’Byrne JM

This study assessed the frequency of acute injury to the spinal cord in Irish Rugby over a period of ten years, between 1995 and 2004. There were 12 such injuries; 11 were cervical and one was thoracic. Ten occurred in adults and two in schoolboys. All were males playing Rugby Union and the mean age at injury was 21.6 years (16 to 36). The most common mechanism of injury was hyperflexion of the cervical spine and the players injured most frequently were playing at full back, hooker or on the wing. Most injuries were sustained during the tackle phase of play. Six players felt their injury was preventable. Eight are permanently disabled as a result of their injury.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 88-B, Issue 3 | Pages 406 - 410
1 Mar 2006
Quinlan JF Watson RWG Kelly G Kelly PM O’Byrne JM Fitzpatrick JM

Injuries to the spinal cord may be associated with increased healing of fractures. This can be of benefit, but excessive bone growth can also cause considerable adverse effects.

We evaluated two groups of patients with fractures of the spinal column, those with neurological compromise (n = 10) and those without (n = 15), and also a control group with an isolated fracture of a long bone (n = 12). The level of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), was measured at five time points after injury (days 1, 5, 10, 42 and 84).

The peak level of 142.79 ng/ml was found at day 84 in the neurology group (p < 0.001 vs other time points). The other groups peaked at day 42 and had a decrease at day 84 after injury (p ≤ 0.001).

Our findings suggest that TGF-β may have a role in the increased bone turnover and attendant complications seen in patients with acute injuries to the spinal cord.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 6 | Pages 903 - 906
1 Nov 1996
Ramesh M O’Byrne JM McCarthy N Jarvis A Mahalingham K Cashman WF

We studied prospectively 81 consecutive patients undergoing hip surgery using the Hardinge (1982) approach. The abductor muscles of the hip in these patients were assessed electrophysiologically and clinically by the modified Trendelenburg test. Power was measured using a force plate. We performed assessment at two weeks, and at three and nine months after operation.

At two weeks we found that 19 patients (23%) showed evidence of damage to the superior gluteal nerve. By three months, five of these had recovered. The nine patients with complete denervation at three months showed no signs of recovery when reassessed at nine months. Persistent damage to the nerve was associated with a positive Trendelenburg test.