There were approximately 1,620,000 surgical bone graft procedures in the United States in 2005 and 672,000 fracture reductions in 20061. The estimated economic costs for orthopedic injuries to upper and lower extremities collectively account for 17% ($68 billion) of total lifetime costs that originated in 20001. Over the past 15 years, significant efforts have focused on the development of bioactive, load-bearing polymeric materials designed to restore function within critical-sized bone defects. Traditional reconstructive approaches use autografting of the defects, but these approaches have significant limitations2. As a result, transfer of grafts greater than 2 cm are associated with an unacceptably high complication rate. Thus, the optimal skeletal extremity reconstruction would be one in which the reconstruction is performed with material that may be taken “off the shelf” to eliminate donor site morbidity, but is degradable and resorbable affording incorporation into the host.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.