Since 2008 we have been using many free vascularized medial femoral condyle grafts for reconstruction of difficult scaphoid non-unions. This article aims to report our results and experiences.
Until the end of 2019 a total of 287 patients had a microvascular scaphoid reconstruction, 158 with use of a corticocancellous, and 129 using an osseocartilaginous graft. Complete analysis of all of these patients was impossible. This manuscript is based on a retrospective analysis of 28 out of 42 patients with corticocancellous grafts operated on between 2008 and 2010 with a mean follow-up time of 6.1 years as well as another 44 out of 76 patients with an osseocartilaginous graft operated on between 2011 and 2016 with a mean follow-up time of 44 months. Follow-up included clinical parameters, conventional x-rays, a DASH-Score and a modified Mayo wrist score. Additionally, the authors report their personal experiences – necessarily without quantification. In view of this incomplete data-pool statistical analysis was not reasonable.
In the group with corticocancellous reconstructions bony healing was achieved in 69 %, salvage operations were required in 9,5 %. The 28 patients had a mean DASH-Score of 11, a mean modified Mayo wrist score of 83 points, a mean ROM of 86° and a mean grip strength of 89 % of the contralateral side. In the group with osseocartilaginous reconstructions complete bony healing was seen in 80 %, partial healing in 5 %, and salvage procedures were required in 11 %. The remaining 39 patients had a mean DASH-Score of 15, a mean modified Mayo wrist score of 80 points, a mean ROM of 90° and a grip strength of 81 % of the contralateral hand. A specific complication was an ossification of the pedicle, but the main problem was a satisfying reconstruction of the shape of the scaphoid and reestablishment of carpal stability in far advanced cases. We could not identify factors reliable for the persisting non-unions.
These operations combine great chances for healing with considerable risks for serious complications. So future patients have to be fully informed, so that their decision for such a procedure is based on realistic expectations.

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