Free vascularized fibula in traumatic long bone defects and in limb salvaging following tumor resection: comparative study.
In this retrospective analysis, we present our experience with two groups of patients who had long bone defects secondary to trauma or tumor resection and who were treated with a free vascularized fibular graft for skeletal reconstruction. Both groups were comparable in number and average age of patients, length of bone defect, and mean follow-up (average 3 years both groups). The number of surgical procedures prior to microvascular grafting was significantly higher for the traumatic defects. Primary bone union in a mean period of 6 months occurred at a higher rate in the tumor patients; the trauma patients had a significantly higher nonunion rate, which required multiple additional surgical procedures. The latter did not, significantly, improve the rate of success in the trauma group. Residual limb shortening was present in one-half of the patients with traumatic defects. On the basis of this review, it appears that the scarred and relatively avascular soft tissues surrounding the long bone defects secondary to trauma affect the course and the final outcome of the microvascular fibular grafting. A similar procedure applied for limb salvaging after tumor resection is better.
Malizos, KN; Nunley, JA; Goldner, RD; Urbaniak, JR; Harrelson, JM
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