Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 7 , ISSUE 1 ( April, 2012 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Outcomes and complications of fibular head resection

D. K. Agarwal, S. Saseendar, D. K. Patro, J. Menon

Keywords : Fibula, Bone transplantation, Morbidity, Joint laxity, Fibular regeneration

Citation Information : Agarwal DK, Saseendar S, Patro DK, Menon J. Outcomes and complications of fibular head resection. 2012; 7 (1):27-32.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-012-0133-8

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 30-04-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2012; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


The fibular head is often used as donor graft material for reconstruction of defects of the distal radius. However little is known on the safety of such a procedure. This report describes the long-term donor-site morbidity following the procedure. Fourteen patients who underwent simple or marginal resections of the proximal fibula between 1990 and 2007 were reviewed. Subjective donor-site morbidity, knee and ankle range of motion and instability, presence of sensory or motor function loss, gait and fibular regeneration were assessed. The mean age at surgery was 25 years; six were male, eight were female and the mean follow-up was 11 years. Abnormal clinical findings were present in 10 patients (71.4 %): nine patients (64.3 %) had Grade 2 varus laxity at the knee confirmed by stress radiographs; one had sensory loss in the distribution of the superficial peroneal nerve. Patients with varus laxity had significantly higher mean age at surgery than those without varus laxity (p = 0.001). None had deformity at the knee or ankle. The range of joint movements was normal. All had a normal tibiotalar angle and none had proximal migration of the fibula. One patient demonstrated near-complete regeneration of the fibula. Donor-site morbidity following simple and marginal resection of the proximal fibula is acceptable. Older patients had a higher risk of demonstrable varus laxity at the knee but proximal fibula resection in children appears to be safe.

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