Can local Erythropoietin administration enhance bone regeneration in osteonecrosis of femoral head?

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Osteonecrosis of femoral head (ONFH) is a challenging disease. Regardless of underlying causes, the ultimate result in all cases is disruption of femoral head blood supply. Once the disease starts, it is progressive in 80% of cases. Since the majority of the affected individuals are young, every effort should be focused on preserving the patients own femoral head. These years, the role of angiogenic growth factors has been investigated with promising results in animal models of ONFH. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a well known hormone that has been used in treatment of chronic anemia for many years with few side effects. Considering the angiogenic properties of EPO, we hypothesize that local delivery of recombinant human EPO during core decompression will enhance bone regeneration in ONFH. In this way we also can avoid systemic side effects of EPO.

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