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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-99

Regenerative techniques in the management of post-traumatic segmental bone defects at a level one trauma center

Departments of Orthopaedics, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Simon C Lau
Department of Orthopaedics, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria 3050
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jllr.jllr_10_19

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Introduction: Segmental loss of bone after traumatic injury can be managed with primary amputation or attempted limb salvage with bony regeneration. We aimed to describe our experience of treating traumatic bone loss at a tertiary level one trauma center and propose an approach to help in the treatment of these patients. Methods: Ten patients were identified via a search of the hospital's medical records covering a 5-year period. Each patient was then retrospectively reviewed with injury factors, treatment options, and final outcomes. Each patient was treated based on an anatomic approach developed by the unit to manage segmental bone loss. Results: Of the patients who underwent bony regeneration, we had four distal tibial fractures: three in the upper limb and one distal femoral fracture. Both primary amputation patients had tibial fractures. The mean bone loss was 88.5 mm. We employed bone transport in four cases, Masquelet in two, a free vascularized fibular graft and soft-tissue flap in one instance, and a combination of free vascularized fibula graft and Masquelet in another case. All patients achieved union, although the mean time to union in smokers was 1403 days, compared to 499 days in nonsmokers. Complications included three returns to theater for bone grafting and three recurrent soft-tissue infections. Post regeneration, the patients had a mean Short Form-36 score of 54.2, and most of the patients were “very satisfied” with the outcome of their surgeries. Conclusion: The regeneration of bone after traumatic loss is onerous on patients, is demanding for clinicians, and requires significant health resources. It should only be considered with appropriate patient buy-in and in the absence of contraindications.

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