PURPOSE:
The Masquelet technique is a procedure increasingly utilized for addressing segmental bone defects. The technique involves staged procedures consisting of bone debridement and temporary spacer placement to induce membrane formation, followed by delayed bone grafting. This report summarizes our center's experience with the Masquelet technique to reconstruct bone loss exclusively in the forearm.

METHODS:
We reviewed all cases in which the Masquelet technique was used to reconstruct segmental bone defects in the forearm resulting from acute trauma or nonunion, with or without infection, between 2014 and 2017 at a level-1 trauma center. Injury mechanism, prior surgeries, extent of bone defect, and demographic data were collected. Union was assessed along with treatment-related complications or reoperations.

RESULTS:
We identified 9 patients with segmental bony defects in the forearm treated with the Masquelet technique. Among this cohort, 5 patients had bone defects associated with acute open fractures and 4 patients presented with nonunion (1 atrophic and 3 infected nonunions). The median bony defect was 4.7 cm (range, 1.7-5.4 cm) at the time of grafting. Second stage grafting was performed with Reamer Irrigator Aspirator autograft from the femur in 8 patients and iliac crest bone cancellous graft in 1 patient. Union was achieved in all 9 patients. Six patients achieved union by 3-month follow-up, 2 patients by 6 months, and 1 patient by 12 months. One patient required a reoperation for plate fracture prior to union treated with revision internal fixation and grafting.

CONCLUSIONS:
The Masquelet technique effectively reconstructed traumatic and posttraumatic segmental defects in the forearm with a low incidence of complication.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:
Therapeutic V.





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