Growth and remodelling of the autologous bone transplant used in a pediatric femoral reconstruction

F. Taddei, M. Viceconti, M. Manfrini, A. Toni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present work was to assess how growth and remodelling changed the morphology of the transplanted fibula used to reconstruct the proximal femur of a 5 year old child affected by a Ewing's sarcoma during the first 3 years of follow-up. The morphological evolution of the transplant was quantitatively assessed on diagnostic images. Special software was developed to perform three-dimensional measurements on computed tomography (CT) datasets, while state-of-the-art image processing software was used for conventional radiography. The measurements were then correlated with the loads expected to act on the hip during the various stages of the rehabilitation protocol. A simple cantilever beam model was used for a gross estimate of the risk of fracture of the transplant. The results of the analysis showed that there is no clear correlation between the morphological changes of the autograft and the hip loading conditions experienced. Apart from a drastic increase in the periosteal radius in the frontal plane, occurring in the first 10 months after the operation, the growth of the transplanted fibula seems well within the ranges of the normal fibular growth. The cantilever beam model suggested that, although the autograft is currently subjected to subcritical stresses, morphological evolution could increase the risk of fracture in the next few years if a normal level of loading were allowed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Bone tumours
  • Computed tomography
  • Growth and remodelling of bone
  • Skeletal reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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