European Spine Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1610–1620 | Cite as

Posterolateral spinal fusion in a rabbit model using a collagen–mineral composite bone graft substitute

  • William Robert WalshEmail author
  • F. Vizesi
  • G. B. Cornwall
  • D. Bell
  • R. Oliver
  • Y. Yu
Original Article


Choosing the appropriate graft material to participate in the healing process in posterolateral spinal fusion continues to be a challenge. Combining synthetic graft materials with bone marrow aspirate (BMA) and autograft is a reasonable treatment option for surgeons to potentially reduce or replace the need for autograft. FormaGraft, a bone graft material comprising 12% bovine-derived collagen and 88% ceramic in the form of hydroxyapatite (HAp) and beta tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) was evaluated in three possible treatment modalities for posterior spinal fusion in a standard rabbit model. These three treatment groups were FormaGraft alone, FormaGraft soaked in autogenous BMA, and FormaGraft with BMA and iliac crest autograft. No statistically demonstrable benefits or adverse effects of the addition of BMA were found in the current study based on macroscopic, radiology or mechanical data. This may reflect, in part, the good to excellent results of the collagen HA/TCP composite material alone in a well healing bony bed. Histology did, however, reveal a benefit with the use of BMA. Combining FormaGraft with autograft and BMA achieved results equivalent to autograft alone. The mineral and organic nature of the material provided a material that facilitated fusion between the transverse processes in a standard preclinical posterolateral fusion model.


Spinal fusion Bone graft Collagen Hydroxyapatite Bone marrow aspirate 



Support for this study was provided by NuVasive, Inc. San Diego, CA. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of John Rawlinson, Greg Mitchell and Molly Barnhart for the animal-related aspects of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Robert Walsh
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Vizesi
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. B. Cornwall
    • 2
  • D. Bell
    • 1
  • R. Oliver
    • 1
  • Y. Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratories (SORL), Prince of Wales HospitalUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.NuVasive, Inc.San DiegoUSA

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