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Comparison of Pediatric Intercalary Allograft Reconstructions with and without a Free Vascularized Fibula

Houdek, Matthew T. M.D.; Rose, Peter S. M.D.; Milbrandt, Todd A. M.D.; Stans, Anthony A. M.D.; Moran, Steven L. M.D.; Sim, Franklin H. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: October 2018 - Volume 142 - Issue 4 - p 1065-1071
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004794
Reconstructive: Lower Extremity: Original Articles

Background: Lower extremity intercalary allograft reconstruction has traditionally been used to facilitate limb salvage. Combining the allograft with a free vascularized fibula graft has been described; however, there is a paucity of data comparing the outcome of these reconstructions.

Methods: Twenty-nine pediatric patients (15 boys and 14 girls) underwent lower extremity limb salvage with the use of intercalary cadaveric allograft at a mean age of 12 years. The most common diagnosis was osteosarcoma (n = 18). Patients underwent reconstruction with an allograft alone (n = 11) or supplemented with a free vascularized fibula graft (n = 18).

Results: The mean time to union of the allograft was 11 months, with 10 patients requiring additional bone grafting. There was no difference in the need for an additional bone graft (OR, 0.87; p = 1.0) between patients with a free vascularized fibula graft and those without. The allograft was revised in three patients because of fracture (n = 2) and fracture and infection (n = 1). In all of these patients, the allograft was not supplemented with a free vascularized fibula graft (p < 0.001). Five patients underwent an amputation, most commonly for disease recurrence. At last follow-up, the mean Mankin and Musculoskeletal Tumor Society rating was 90 percent, with 19 patients (66 percent) who achieved a “good” or “excellent” outcome according to the Mankin score.

Conclusion: Use of an intercalary allograft to reconstruct a lower extremity provides a durable means of reconstruction; however, supplementation with a free vascularized fibula graft reduces the risk of allograft revision.


Rochester, Minn.

From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

Received for publication September 25, 2017; accepted March 29, 2018.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Matthew T. Houdek, M.D., 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minn. 55905,

Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons