Vascularized humeral periosteal flap to treat lateral humeral condyle nonunion: An anatomical study and report of two successfully-treated pediatric cases

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Nonunion is a common complication of lateral condyle humeral (LCH) fractures in children. In situ fixation with a screw and bone grafting is the classically-recommended method of treatment. The purpose of this study is to analyze the feasibility of obtaining a vascularized periosteal flap obtained from the lateral humerus and based on the posterior collateral radial vessels (PCRV). Second, to report the results after the application in two pediatric cases.


Periosteal branches of PCRV were studied in ten upper limbs from fresh human cadavers. Then, two children with LCH nonunion were treated with this flap.


The PCRV provided mean of 5.3 anterior periosteal branches (range 4–7) with a mean distance between them of 19.1 mm (range 5–29 mm) and 5.7 posterior periosteal branches (range 3–7) with a mean distance between them of 15.9 mm (range 6–33 mm. PCRV distally anastomosed to the interosseous recurrent artery and the radial recurrent artery, creating a vascular net over the lateral condyle and allowing for the design of a reverse vascularized humeral periosteal flap (VHPF). Abundant periosteal callus and rapid consolidation were achieved in both children. No bone fixation or grafting was necessary.


VHPF might be considered a viable biological surgical option to promote bone healing in LCH nonunions in children, while avoiding the need for bone fixation and the donor morbidity associated with bone grafting.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles