BACKGROUND: Posterolateral spinal fusion is a common orthopaedic surgery performed to treat degenerative and traumatic deformities of the spinal column. In posteriolateral spinal fusion, different osteoinductive demineralized bone matrix products have been previously investigated. We evaluated the effect of locally applied zoledronic acid in combination with commercially available demineralized bone matrix putty on new bone formation in posterolateral spinal fusion in a murine in vivo model.
METHODS: A posterolateral sacral spine fusion in murine model was used to evaluate the new bone formation. We used the sacral spine fusion model to model the clinical situation in which a bone graft or demineralized bone matrix is applied after dorsal instrumentation of the spine. In our study, group 1 received decortications only (n = 10), group 2 received decortication, and absorbable collagen sponge carrier, group 3 received decortication and absorbable collagen sponge carrier with zoledronic acid in dose 10 µg, group 4 received demineralized bone matrix putty (DBM putty) plus decortication (n = 10), and group 5 received DBM putty, decortication and locally applied zoledronic acid in dose 10 µg. Imaging was performed using MicroCT for new bone formation assessment. Also, murine spines were harvested for histopathological analysis 10 weeks after surgery.
RESULTS: The surgery performed through midline posterior approach was reproducible. In group with decortication alone there was no new bone formation. Application of demineralized bone matrix putty alone produced new bone formation which bridged the S1-S4 laminae. Local application of zoledronic acid to demineralized bone matrix putty resulted in significant increase of new bone formation as compared to demineralized bone matrix putty group alone.
CONCLUSIONS: A single local application of zoledronic acid with DBM putty during posterolateral fusion in sacral murine spine model increased significantly new bone formation in situ in our model. Therefore, our results justify further investigations to potentially use local application of zoledronic acid in future clinical studies.