Kirschner Wire and Bone Cement is a Viable Alternative to Reconstruction of Large Iliac Bone Defects After Strut Bone Graft Harvesting

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Study Design:

A retrospective study.


To assess the safety and efficacy of iliac crest defect reconstruction using Kirschner wire (K-wire)/polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) versus traditional autologous rib graft reconstruction.

Summary of Background Data:

The iliac crest has been the preferred donor site for strut bone graft for various spinal fusion surgeries.


Seventy-three patients (44 males and 29 females; average age: 57.2 y) were divided into 2 groups: the rib group (35 patients) and the K-wire/PMMA group (38 patients). All operations involved anterior spinal interbody fusion. Patients were followed-up, on average, for 34.2 months using plain radiographs and both pain and cosmesis visual analog scales (VAS) to assess the clinical results after surgery.


Almost all patients had pain VAS scores of ≤1 and grade 1 cosmesis VAS scores with no significant difference between the 2 groups in terms of either pain or cosmesis (P=1.00 and 0.505, respectively). In addition, few complications were noted in both groups. Radiographic complications in the rib group and the K-wire group numbered 4 (11%) and 2 (5%), respectively; however, did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (P=0.418). One case required intraoperative revision of the length of the K-wire and 1 case needed reoperation for iliac ring fracture and K-wire migration. An additional case required revision due to a bad fall.


K-wire and bone cement reconstruction is an effective and safe alternative method for large iliac bone defect repair when autologous rib graft is not available.

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