Local Erythropoietin Injection in Tibiofibular Fracture Healing




Background: Erythropoietin (EPO), in addition to its function as an erythropoiesis regulator has a regenerative activity on some nonhematopoietic tissues. Animal studies have suggested a role for erythropoietin in bone healing. Objectives: The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of local EPO injection in healing of tibiofibular fractures. Materials and Methods: In a prospective double blind study, 60 patients with tibiofibular fracture were divided to equal EPO or placebo groups, randomly. Patients received local injection of either EPO or a placebo to the site of fracture two weeks after surgical fixation. Patients were followed by clinical and radiographic examination to determine the union rate. The period of fracture union and incidence of nonunion were compared between the two groups. Results: The demographic data and types of fractures were similar in the both groups. The mean duration of the fracture union was 2.1 weeks shorter in those treated with EPO (P = 0.01). Nonunion was observed in 6 patients of the control group and 2 receiving EPO (P = 0.02). No patient experienced any adverse effect from local EPO injections. Conclusions: EPO injection into the site of tibiofibular fractures may possibly accelerate healing