Mankin, Henry J MD; Hornicek, Francis J MD, PHD; Raskin, Kevin A MD
We studied a series of 945 patients who received cadaveric allografts implanted for nonpelvic bone or soft tissue tumor lesions since 1971. We specifically were interested in the role of infection in the graft process, and, more specifically its history, frequency, and affect on outcome. Primary infections (not related to reoperations for nonunions or fractures of the graft) occurred in 75 patients (7.9%), and an additional 46 patients had infections related to reoperations, increasing the total number of patients with infections to 121 (12.8%). The highest frequency of infection occurred in patients with soft tissue tumors, radiated sites, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society Stage IIB tumors, or surgeries consisting of an allograft arthrodesis. Most of the infected grafts failed; however, none of the patients died. One patient had hepatitis C develop, and one patient became HIV positive after receiving the virus from a blood transfusion. A comparison with other series of surgically treated patients, including those receiving metallic devices, suggests that the infection rate may be related to the surgery or the graft’s immunologic resistance, rather than the graft. The problem of infection is a major issue for tumor surgeons. Suggestions regarding how to decrease the frequency of this complication are presented.
Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. (432):210-216, March 2005.