The outcomes and complications of 1,2-intercompartmental supraretinacular artery pedicled vascularized bone grafting of scaphoid nonunions

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Purpose: Over the past decade vascularized bone grafts that use a 1,2-intercompartmental supraretinacular artery (1,2-ICSRA) pedicle have gained popularity in the treatment of scaphoid nonunions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate critically the outcome, complications, and failures of 1,2-ICSRA-based vascularized bone grafting at our institution to understand better the appropriate indications, methods, and possible contraindications. Methods: From January 1994 through July 2003, 50 scaphoid nonunions in 49 patients were treated with 1,2-ICSRA-based vascularized bone grafts. A retrospective review of the clinical and radiographic information was performed. Two patients were lost to follow-up study. Nine female and 38 male patients averaging 24 years of age were followed-up for an average of 7.8 months. Results: Thirty-four scaphoid nonunions went on to union at an average of 15.6 weeks after surgery. Complications occurred in 8 patients and consisted of graft extrusion, superficial infection, deep infection, and failure of fixation. Univariate risk factors for failure included older age, proximal pole avascular necrosis, preoperative humpback deformity, nonscrew fixation, tobacco use, and female gender. Conclusions: Although previous researchers have concluded that vascularized bone grafts based on the 1,2-ICSRA are efficacious in the treatment of scaphoid nonunions, we determined that a successful outcome is not universal and depends on careful patient and fracture selection and appropriate surgical techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006



  • Complications
  • Outcome
  • Scaphoid nonunion
  • Treatment
  • Vascularized bone graft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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