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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2009 Apr;91(4):522-9. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.91B4.21399.

Central bone grafting for nonunion of fractures of the tibia: a retrospective series.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bay Area Medical Center, 3117 Shore Drive, Marinette, Wisconsin 54143, USA. Mark_Ryzewicz@hotmail.com

Abstract

Nonunion of the tibia associated with bone loss, previous infection, obliteration of the intramedullary canal or located in the distal metaphysis poses a challenge to the surgeon and significant morbidity to patients. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 24 patients who were treated by central bone grafting and compared them to those of 20 who were treated with a traditional posterolateral graft. Central bone grafting entails a lateral approach, anterior to the fibula and interosseous membrane which is used to create a central space filled with cancellous iliac crest autograft. Upon consolidation, a tibiofibular synostosis is formed that is strong enough for weight-bearing. This procedure has advantages over other methods of treatment for selected nonunions. Of the 24 patients with central bone grafting, 23 went on to radiographic and clinical union without further intervention. All healed within a mean of 20 weeks (10 to 48). No further bone grafts were required, and few complications were encountered. These results were comparable to those of the 20 patients who underwent posterolateral bone grafting who united at a mean of 31.3 weeks (16 to 60) but one of whom required below-knee amputation for intractable sepsis. Central bone grafting is a safe and effective treatment for difficult nonunions of the tibia.

PMID:
19336815
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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