BACKGROUND:
Scaphoid nonunion involving the proximal pole with the presence of avascular necrosis is difficult to reconstruct. We aimed to determine the efficacy of surgical treatment of proximal pole scaphoid nonunion with avascular necrosis using a dorsal capsular-based vascularized distal radius graft.

METHODS:
Between 2000 and 2018, 64 patients with established proximal pole scaphoid nonunion with avascular necrosis were treated using a dorsal capsular-based vascularized distal radius graft. This graft was harvested from the dorsal aspect of the distal radius with its dorsal wrist capsule attachment. Fixation of the scaphoid nonunion was performed with a small cannulated screw, followed by insertion of the vascularized graft into the dorsal trough at the scaphoid nonunion site. In the last 47 patients of this series, a micro suture anchor was placed into the scaphoid to augment graft fixation.

RESULTS:
Union rate was 86% (55 of 64 scaphoid nonunions with avascular necrosis) at a mean time of 12 weeks. Persistent non-union was noted in eight patients and fibrous union in one patient. No patients developed donor site morbidity. No graft dislodgment was noted. There was significant improvement of the wrist functional outcomes at the final follow up.

CONCLUSIONS:
The dorsal capsular-based vascularized distal radius graft is a safe and effective treatment in patients with scaphoid nonunion with avascular necrosis of the proximal pole. This pedicle vascularized bone graft is derived from a location that can easily reach the proximal third of the scaphoid avoiding microsurgical dissection or anastomosis.





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