The effectiveness of vascularized and conventional bone grafts in the treatment of carpal fracture nonunion with avascular necrosis was evaluated in 12 adult dogs. The proximal third of the radiocarpal bone was removed bilaterally and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Its replacement, leaving a 4-mm gap, simulated a scaphoid fracture nonunion with avascular necrosis. A dorsal radius inlay graft was placed across the gap. The graft was nonvascularized, or conventional on one side, and vascularized with a reverse-flow arteriovenous pedicle on the other. Following a healing period, quantitative assessment of bone blood flow, fracture healing, and bone remodeling was conducted. Seventy-three percent of the vascularized grafts and none of the conventional grafts healed. At 6 weeks, bone blood flow in the proximal pole was significantly higher on the side of the vascularized graft. Quantitative histomorphometry of the avascular proximal segment demonstrated significantly higher levels of fluorochrome-labeled osteoid- and osteoblast-covered trabecular surfaces on the vascularized graft side. These experimental data support the potential clinical application of pedicled reverse-flow vascularized grafts in the treatment of carpal fracture nonunions with avascular necrosis, including proximal pole scaphoid nonunions. Copyright (C) 2000 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
- Vascularized bone graft
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine