Humeral shaft fractures respond well to conservative treatment and unite without much problem. Since it is uncommon, there is not much discussion regarding the management of nonunion in the literature, and hence this is a challenge to the treating orthopaedic surgeon. Osteoporosis of the fractured bone and stiffness of the surrounding joints compounds the situation further. The Ilizarov fixator, locking compression plate, and vascularised fibular graft are viable options in this scenario but are technically demanding. We used a fibular strut graft for bridging the fracture site in order to enhance the pull-out strength of the screws of the dynamic compression plate. Six patients in the study had successful uneventful union of the fracture at the last follow-up. The fibula is easy to harvest and produces less graft site morbidity. None of the study patients needed additional iliac crest bone grafting. This is the largest reported series of patients with osteoporotic atrophic nonunion of humerus successfully treated solely using the combination of an intramedullary fibular strut graft and dynamic compression plate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine