To assess long-term results and complications of cancellous bone graft taken from the distal radius.

A total of 1670 cases of bone graft taken from the distal radius for various indications were reviewed retrospectively. The patients were evaluated for success of bone grafting and for the following complications: fracture through donor site, local infection, DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, and neuroma of the superficial radial nerve.

The overall complication rate including bone graft failure within a mean follow-up period of 4.5 years was 4%. Bone graft failure required regrafting with iliac bone in 38 patients (2.3%). DeQuervain's tenosynovitis was noted in 21 patients (1.3%), local soft-tissue infection was noted in 3 patients (0.2)%, fracture through donor site was noted in 2 patients (0.1%), and superficial radial nerve neuromas were noted in 2 patients (0.1%). There were no cases of osteomyelitis.

Bone grafting from the distal radius is effective with minimal complications and is a practical adjunct to reconstructive hand procedures.