Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 in open tibial fractures: A subgroup analysis of data combined from two prospective randomized studies

Marc F. Swiontkowski, Hannu T. Aro, Simon Donell, John L. Esterhai, James Goulet, Alan Jones, Philip J. Kregor, Lars Nordsletten, Guy Paiement, Amratlal Patel

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165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) to improve the healing of open tibial shaft fractures has been the focus of two prospective clinical studies. The objective of the current study was to perform a subgroup analysis of the combined data from these studies. Methods: Two prospective, randomized clinical studies were conducted. A total of 510 patients with open tibial fractures were randomized to receive the control treatment (intramedullary nail fixation and routine soft-tissue management) or the control treatment and an absorbable collagen sponge impregnated with one of two concentrations of rhBMP-2. The rhBMP-2 implant was placed over the fracture at the time of definitive wound closure. For the purpose of this analysis, only the control treatment and the Food and Drug Administration-approved concentration of rhBMP-2 (1.50 mg/mL) were compared. Patients who anticipated receiving planned bone-grafting as part of a staged treatment were excluded from enrollment. Results: Fifty-nine trauma centers in twelve countries participated, and patients were followed for twelve months postoperatively. Two subgroups were analyzed: (1) the 131 patients with a Gustilo-Anderson type-IIIA or IIIB open tibial fracture and (2) the 113 patients treated with reamed intramedullary nailing. The first subgroup demonstrated significant improvements in the rhBMP-2 group, with fewer bone-grafting procedures (p = 0.0005), fewer patients requiring invasive secondary interventions (p = 0.0065), and a lower rate of infection (p = 0.0234), compared with the control group. The second subgroup analysis of fractures treated with reamed intramedullary nailing demonstrated no significant difference between the control and the rhBMP-2 groups. Conclusions: The addition of rhBMP-2 to the treatment of type-III open tibial fractures can significantly reduce the frequency of bone-grafting procedures and other secondary interventions. This analysis establishes the clinical efficacy of rhBMP-2 combined with an absorbable collagen sponge implant for the treatment of these severe fractures. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1265
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Volume88
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

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