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J Orthop Sci. 2012 Mar;17(2):156-62. doi: 10.1007/s00776-011-0194-4. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Vascularized fibular graft for bone defects after wide resection of musculoskeletal tumors.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, 207 Uehara, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.



In reconstruction by vascularized fibular graft (VFG) after wide resection of musculoskeletal tumors, there are problems such as the method of fixing the fibular graft, the period of achieving bone union, and the avoidance of postoperative fractures. We have performed VFG on 19 cases over a 30-year period. We have investigated these problems and now report the results.


From 1980 to 2009, we performed VFG on 19 cases to reconstruct the bone defect after resection of a musculoskeletal tumor. The mean age was 19.5 years. Reconstructed bone defects were located in the femur in 10 cases (1 of inlay graft, 1 of individual intercalary graft, 7 of intercalary graft into treated bone, 1 of curettaged bone marrow), the tibia in 3 cases (1 of individual intercalary graft, 2 of intercalary graft into treated bone), the humerus in 3 cases (2 of sling procedure, 1 of individual intercalary graft), the foot in 2 cases individual intercalary graft, and the sacroiliac joint in 1 case of individual intercalary graft. The mean follow-up period after surgery was 7.25 years. We evaluated the success of primary bone union, the period required to achieve bone union, complications, clinical outcome, and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) score.


Successful bone union was achieved for 79% of cases (15/19 patients). The average period required to achieve bone union was 7.8 months. There were 4 cases of non-union and 2 other complications. Clinical outcome status was continuous disease-free in 12 cases and died of disease in 7. The mean MSTS score was 98% (93-100%).


Vascularized fibular graft is a useful reconstructive procedure for long-bone defects after wide excision of musculoskeletal tumors. The method of fixation can be selected according to the situation; although times required for bone union are long, it is possible to prevent postoperative fractures by a combined approach with treated bone and/or double barrel fibular grafts.

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