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Hand (N Y). 2017 Mar;12(2):127-134. doi: 10.1177/1558944716643080. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Vascularized Bone Grafting in Scaphoid Nonunion: A Review of Patient-Centered Outcomes.

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University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.
University of Manchester, UK.


Background: The radiographic and clinical outcomes following vascularized bone grafting (VBG) for scaphoid nonunion have previously been reported in the literature; however, few studies report on patient-derived outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of VBG for scaphoid nonunion on patient-derived outcomes. Methods: The MEDLINE and PubMed databases were queried for the use of VBG in scaphoid nonunion. We included studies that reported on patient-derived outcomes. We excluded studies with less than 10 patients or less than 6 months of follow-up. The primary outcomes assessed included functionality, percent and time to return to preinjury activity, postoperative pain, and patient satisfaction. Results: Twenty-six articles described the outcomes of 520 patients with an average of 19.3 patients per study. Functionality was most commonly assessed by the Mayo Modified Wrist Score and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores, which improved by 53.1% and 81.7% postoperatively, respectively. Within 16 weeks, 90.3% of patients returned to their previous occupation or sporting activity. Pain was most commonly reported using a 0 to 10 visual analog scale and improved 4-fold postoperatively. Complete satisfaction was reported by 92% of patients. The most common complications were superficial infections (1.56%), neuropathic pain (1.56%), and complex regional pain syndrome (1.25%). Conclusions: VBG for scaphoid nonunion results in the improvement of patient-derived outcomes, and high rates of return to preinjury activity levels and patient satisfaction. Multiple metrics of patient-derived outcomes were utilized by the studies in our review without a clear consensus as to which metric is most responsive and accurate.


bone graft; microvascular; nonunion; scaphoid; vascular

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