With patients undergoing first time 1st metatarsophalangeal joint arthrodesis using graft material when it was required to fill cystic bone voids, we retrospectively compared the time to fusion (clinical and radiographic), and non-union rate between the patient’s own bone autograft (n = 62) versus a mesenchymal stem cell impregnated allograft group (n = 51). A third control group (n = 52) was included in which an end-to-end arthrodesis was performed and no graft interposition was used or necessary. The non-union rate was 4% (n = 2) in the control group, 5.9% (n = 4) in the autograft group, and 9.5% (n = 5) in the mesenchymal stem cell allograft group. The time for radiographic fusion was 6.46 weeks for the control group, 6.52 weeks for the autograft group, and 6.53 weeks for the mesenchymal stem cell allograft group. The difference in time to clinical and radiographic union and the non-union rate were not found to be statistically significant among all 3 groups. Patient comorbidities and their possible effects on union rates were also analyzed within the populations. Some comorbidities had statistically significantly non-unions within the population, notably smoking (p = 0.024) and Rheumatoid arthritis (p = 0.001), however the populations were fairly small. The use of allogeneic bone graft impregnated with mesenchymal stem cells yields a similar fusion rate as with the use of autologous bone graft harvested from the surrounding area. The allograft impregnated with mesenchymal stem cells is a viable alternative yielding similar results when local autogenous bone graft is not available, not obtainable, or conditions warrant its use.
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