International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1705–1709 | Cite as

The biological basis for concentrated iliac crest aspirate to enhance core decompression in the treatment of osteonecrosis

  • Stuart B. Goodman
Review Article


Core decompression is a surgical procedure that is capable of salvaging the patient’s own natural joint, if the operation is performed in the early stages of osteonecrosis, in which the articular surface has not collapsed. The addition of concentrated cells, aspirated from the iliac crest, to the core tract has been shown to enhance the viability of the femoral head, although large, prospective, randomized, blinded multicentre studies are lacking. The rationale for adding these cells to the core decompression tract is to provide osteoprogenitor and vascular progenitor cells to the area of decompressed dead bone, in order to facilitate tissue regeneration and repair. It has become increasingly evident that vast discrepancies exist in different series in regard to the criteria for patient selection, the surgical technique of core decompression, the methods for harvesting, processing, and injecting the cells, and the methodology for determining success or failure in a specific patient cohort. This paper reviews the salient points relevant to the treatment of osteonecrosis by core decompression with addition of concentrated iliac crest aspirates and poses important questions regarding the future successful application of this technique.


Osteonecrosis Core decompression Iliac crest aspirate Osteogenesis Bone healing 


Funding information

This work was supported in part by NIH grants R01AR063717-06 and NCATS 1UG3TR002136-01, and the Ellenburg Chair in Surgery at Stanford University.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and BioengineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryStanford University School of MedicineRedwood CityUSA

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