Plaster of Paris as bone substitute in spinal surgery

Alexander G. Hadjipavlou, James W. Simmons, Michael N. Tzermiadianos, Pavlos G. Katonis, David J. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In order to assess the effectiveness of calcium sulphate (plaster of Paris; POP) as a substitute for autologous bone graft, we performed lumbar intervertebral fusion in mature sheep using POP and a variety of other graft materials, and reviewed the literature. The osteoconductivity of the POP grafts was compared to that of grafts carried out with autogenous iliac crest, frozen allogeneic bone, and ProOsteon 500 coralline bone. We also compared the osteogenicity of POP to admixtures of autogenous iliac crest bone with POP and coralline bone, and to an osteoinductive demineralized sheep bone preparation (DBM). The substrates were loaded into tubular titanium mesh, implanted intoexcavated disc spaces and recovered after a period of 4 months. Fusion mass segments tested in flexion and tension showed that POP was equal to autogenous bone and most other substrates. The POP fusions were significantly tougher than the DBM fusions, even though histomorphometry failed to reveal differences in the amount of trabecular bone. We conclude that POP can be used to achieve a biomechanically stable interbody lumbar vertebral fusion. In addition, our literature review indicated that POP can be used as a vehicle for local delivery of antibiotics in bone infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S189-S196
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Intervertebral fusion
  • Osteoconduction
  • Osteoinduction
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Replamineform coralline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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