Bone cancer affects children and young adults and requires wide removal of bone, leaving large
defects. In order to save the limb and to restore its function in a lasting way, dead bone from bone
banks or sterilised removed bone (graft) is used to fill the defect and is fixed by plates and screws.
Still, in some patients a gap between the dead graft and the remaining living bone is seen, causing
a delayed healing which leads to prolonged non-weight bearing periods (>1 year) and
We aim to reduce the healing time by introducing a predefined compression force to a graft,
comparable to methods used in fracture fixation and megaprosthesis ingrowth. However, no
literature is available evaluating the compression force and its effect on graft healing. Moreover,
as bone cancer is extremely rare, this small patient group is often ignored for research funding to
improve the current knowledge.
We need to reproduce this compression force in a reliable way in different patients and different
bone parts. Therefore we need to develop a standardised surgical procedure and determine the
relation between the compression force and the surgical variables, eg screw positioning. Data
from in vitro cyclic loading experiments and the patient’ characteristics will be used for virtual
simulation of compression force during level walking. These data will be essential for the future
introduction and development of innovative techniques such as patient-specific instruments and