Distraction Osteogenesis

     Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a surgical treatment designed to regenerate bone that may have been “abnormally short as a result of injury, disease or malformation” [1]. First described by Codvilla in 1905 for the treatment of limb length discrepancies, it was not until the work of Ilizarov fifty years later that the technique of DO gained popularity as a method for enhancing bone regeneration in clinical orthopaedics.

     Distraction osteogenesis generates new tissue through the application of tensile forces to develop a callus via a controlled osteotomy. Distraction osteogenesis is characterized by three separate phases involving the latency phase immediately following the osteotomy, the active or distraction phase involving active separation of the bony segments, and the consolidation phase where active distraction has ended and healing of the callus begins.

     Utilizing investigative approaches such as a loss of function model for neoangiogenesis and a knock out osteopontin (OPN) murine model, our laboratory is investigating the basic biology of the bone formation that occurs during DO.

1. Codivilla A. (1905). On the means of lengthening in the lower limbs. Am J Orthop Surg. 2, 353-369.