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Prospective Study on Harvesting Autologous Bone Grafts from the Anterior Iliac Crest Using a New Specialized Reamer

Kitzinger, Hugo B. MD*; Karle, Birgit MD*; Krimmer, Hermann MD, PhD; Prommersberger, Karl-Josef MD, PhD; van Schoonhoven, Jörg MD, PhD; Frey, Manfred MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31824f2500
Reconstructive Surgery

The iliac crest remains the most frequent donor site for bone harvesting. Despite the surgical access to the iliac crest being relatively simple and the operation being carried out regularly, there are frequent complications. Therefore, a new, manual iliac crest reamer (R group) was compared to the classical harvesting of a corticocancellous bone graft by means of an oscillating saw (Con group) in a prospective study on 80 consecutive patients having hand surgery. Follow-up time was 3 months. Operation time and incidence of hematomas, seromas, and paresthesias in the R group were significantly shorter and less, respectively, than in the Con group. Pain at harvest site measured with the visual analogue scale (VAS) at 5 days, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks postoperatively was significantly less in group R as well. The utilization of the iliac crest reamer allows bone graft harvest in a relatively quick and simple operation with relatively few complications but with the limitation in that the maximum diameter of a bone cylinder that it can harvest is 20 mm.

From the *Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria; †Handcenter Ravensburg, Krankenhaus St. Elisabeth, Elisabethenstr. 19, 88212 Ravensburg, Germany; and ‡Clinic for Handsurgery Bad Neustadt, Salzburger Leite 1, 97616 Bad Neustadt/Saale, Germany.

Received December 22, 2011, and accepted for publication, after revision, February 6, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: H. Krimmer is a consultant to Gebrüder Martin GmbH & Co. KG, 78532 Tuttlingen, Germany. For the remaining authors none was declared.

Reprints: Hugo B. Kitzinger, MD, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins