Double plating with autogenous bone grafting as a salvage procedure for recalcitrant humeral shaft nonunion
Background: Despite the majority of humeral shaft nonunions respond well to surgical intervention, a surgeon still encounters a patient with humeral shaft nonunion who had already undergone repeated surgeries for nonunion. This study is a retrospective analysis of the efficacy of the treatment of recalcitrant humeral shaft nonunions using double locking compression plate (LCP) fixation in combination with autogenous iliac crest bone grafting.Methods: A consecutive series of aseptic recalcitrant
... septic recalcitrant humeral shaft nonunion underwent surgical treatment between May 2010 and August 2017 in the authors' institute. Standardized treatment included a thorough debridement, double LCP and screw fixation, and autogenous iliac bone graft. The injury type, the bone affected by nonunion, and the duration of nonunion were recorded for all patients. The main outcome measurements were Constant and Murley scale for shoulder function, Mayo elbow performance index (MEPI) for elbow function, and the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain. In addition, all complications were documented.Results: The study consisted of six females and nine males with a mean age of 45.3±13.1 years. Each patient had already undergone at least once failed surgical management for nonunion. The average duration that the bone remained ununited before the index intervention was 126.8±124.2 months. All patients achieved bone union without implant failure. At the final follow-up, both the mean Constant and Murley joint function score and the mean MEPI were significantly improved, and the mean VAS score significantly decreased. Each patient was highly satisfied with the treatment. Complications were only seen in four patents, including one super wound infection, one radial nerve palsy, one ulnar never palsy, and one discomfort at the iliac crest.Conclusion: Double plate fixation combined with autogenous iliac crest bone grafting can result in successful salvage of humerus nonunions in patients who have failed prior surgical interventions.