Nonunion in the forearm following a radioulnar fracture is one of the nightmares of the orthopedic surgeon. Fortunately, it is rare. We treated a large bone defect of the forearm, using a vascularized fibular graft after excision of the unhealed bone segment in a 10-year-old boy with neurofibromatosis. This situation followed a double fracture that had been operated on several times using conventional methods. Following the debridement of the unhealthy tissues in the pseudoarthrotic region, the vascularized fibula was placed on the dorsal surface of the proximal radius fragment. The distal fragment of the radius was inserted into the fibular cavity and fixation was established with a Kirschner wire distally and with a plate proximally. Only two screws were used to fix the plate. The peroneal artery was anastomosed with the radial artery; one of its venae comitantes was anastomosed with the cephalic vein in an end-to-end fashion. After surgery, the elbow was immobilized at 90 degrees of flexion with a splint for 6 weeks. One year after surgery, forearm stabilization and elbow and hand functions were very satisfactory. However, because the distal epiphyses of the bones were destroyed following the repeated surgery and the original trauma itself, a very prominent difference between the two forearms occurred, suggesting the need for bone lengthening in the future. By presenting this case we would like to conclude that one can expect good bone healing with a vascularized bone transfer in these cases when there is not enough space to place screws, but support can be provided by an external splint and K wire.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2007
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