Research Article| Volume 65, ISSUE 3, P379-383, March 2012

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Four-corner arthrodesis – Does the source of graft affect bony union rate? Iliac crest versus distal radius bone graft

Published:October 20, 2011DOI:


      Four-corner arthrodesis is an accepted surgical option for treatment of scapholunate advanced collapse, scaphoid non-union advanced collapse and midcarpal instability. A preferred source of bone graft for performing four-corner arthrodesis is the iliac crest. An alternative and more convenient donor site is the distal radius. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the union rate after four-corner arthrodesis is influenced by the source of bone graft, that is, iliac crest or distal radius.
      In a retrospective analysis, charts and radiographs of 180 patients were identified. In 109 patients, iliac crest bone grafts were used, whereas 71 patients received distal radius bone grafts. In the iliac crest bone graft group, 101 out of 109 patients obtained a solid radiographic union of the arthrodesis at an average of 10 weeks after surgery, and non-union in eight patients (7.3%). In the distal radius bone graft group, X-rays of 66 patients showed bone union after an average of 10 weeks after surgery as well and five patients with non-union (7.0%) respectively. There was no statistical difference in bone union. Our data show that distal radius bone graft compares equally to iliac crest bone graft in performing four-corner arthrodesis. The advantages of the distal radius bone graft include a minor surgical exposure and the avoidance of using a distant anatomic site with associated donor-site morbidity.


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