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After a tumor resection, the reestablishment of the bone continuity at the forearm remains a challenge for restoring the biomechanics of hand and elbow. Bone allograft might be one option to consider amongst other suitable alternatives but there are insufficient data available to substantiate its value.
Patients and methods
We retrospectively investigated a series of 10 consecutive patients that had presented a bone tumor at the forearm. After bone excision, the segmental loss was replaced either by a bone allograft or an osteochondral allograft. Patients were reviewed clinically and with radiographs.
The mean follow-up was 110±99 months. Fracture of the allograft was the most prevalent complication occurring in four patients, mainly in the osteoarticular group. Four patients were surgically revised: two of them had a fracture of the allograft that required a new one, another one had a painful stiff wrist requiring removal of the allograft and arthrodesis with autograft and the fourth one had a non-union of an intercalary allograft that was treated by a distal ulnar joint resection. Intercalary allograft had fewer complications than osteoarticular allografts and they had a better functional MSTS score with an average of 79% of a normal function compared to osteoarticular allografts with an average score of 62%. There was no infection. At the latest follow-up, one reconstruction of the forearm with an allograft failed and concerned the distal radius joint.
A bone allograft when available can be considered as one amongst other suitable options for the reconstruction of the forearm skeleton.
Level of evidence
Level IV, retrospective series.
Keywords : Bone tumor, Forearm, Bone allograft, Osteoarticular allograft