Reconstruction of the Distal Aspect of the Radius with Use of an Osteoarticular Allograft after Excision of a Skeletal Tumor*


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Abstract

Twenty-four patients had reconstruction of the distal aspect of the radius with use of an osteoarticular allograft, between 1974 and 1992, after excision of a giant-cell tumor (twenty patients), a desmoplastic fibroma (two patients), a chondrosarcoma (one patient), or an angiosarcoma (one patient). Nine giant-cell tumors were recurrent lesions, and eleven were extracompartmental primary lesions that had extended through the cortex or subchondral bone. The average age of the patients was 31.5 years (range, fifteen to sixty-one years); thirteen patients were female and eleven were male. Seventeen lesions involved the right wrist and seven involved the left wrist. The reconstruction was performed through a dorsoradial incision with use of a size-matched, preserved, fresh-frozen, distal radial allograft. All procedures included internal fixation and reconstruction of the radiocarpal ligaments.All patients were followed for a minimum of two years (average, 10.9 years; range, 2.1 to 22.3 years). At the time of follow-up, two patients—one who had a giant-cell tumor and one who had a desmoplastic fibroma—had a local recurrence. Eight patients needed a revision of the osteoarticular allograft, at an average of 8.1 years (range, 0.8 to 17.8 years) after the initial reconstruction. Seven of these patients had an arthrodesis and one had an amputation. The reason for the revision was a fracture of the allograft in four patients, recurrence of the tumor in one, pain in two, and volar dislocation of the carpus in one. There were fourteen other complications, including ulnocarpal impaction necessitating excision of the distal aspect of the ulna (four), painful hardware necessitating removal (four), rupture of the extensor pollicis longus tendon necessitating transfer of the extensor indicis proprius (two), fracture of the allograft necessitating open reduction and internal fixation (two), volar dislocation of the carpus necessitating closed reduction (one), and a ganglion of the dorsal aspect of the wrist necessitating excision (one).Of the sixteen patients in whom the osteoarticular allograft survived, three did not have pain, nine had pain in association with strenuous activities, and four had pain in association with moderate activities. Three patients reported no functional limitation, nine had limitation in the ability to perform strenuous activities, and four had limitation in the ability to perform moderate activities. The average range of motion of the wrist was 36 degrees of dorsiflexion, 21 degrees of volar flexion, 16 degrees of radial deviation, 15 degrees of ulnar deviation, 58 degrees of supination, and 72 degrees of pronation.Reconstruction of the distal aspect of the radius with use of an osteoarticular allograft was associated with a low rate of recurrence of the tumor, a moderately high rate of revision, little pain in association with common activities, good function, and a moderate range of motion. Osteoarticular allografts are an option for reconstruction of the distal aspect of the radius after excision of a malignant tumor or a recurrent or locally invasive benign lesion.

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