Various methods for reconstructing large femur bone defects after tumor resection have been introduced. In this study, we reviewed the clinical outcomes of using a 1-barrel free vascularized fibular graft (FVFG) protected by a lateral locking plate for large femoral defects not involving the knee joint.
Between August 2007 and August 2013, we treated 7 patients with large femoral bone defects after tumor resection. The mean age of the patients was 19 years (range, 12–36 years), and 3 were women. All defects were free of infection before the procedure. Femoral bone defects were reconstructed using a 1-barrel FVFG protected by a lateral locking plate. The mean bone defect size was 10.5 cm (range, 6–16 cm). We reviewed clinical outcomes at the last follow-up.
All patients survived beyond the last follow-up; the mean follow-up period was 54 months (range, 26–100 months). Two patients sustained stress fractures of the FVFG, but the lateral locking plate protected the fractured graft until in situ bone healing obtained. Mean time to bone union of both host-graft junctions was 24 months (range, 18–31 months). The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score (%) was 85.8% (range, 80–95%).
A 1-barrel FVFG protected by a lateral locking plate maintained a stable graft-host bone construct, successfully leading to bone healing, even in cases of stress fractures of the graft, and appears to be a good option for large femur bone defects.