Sandwich allografts for long-bone nonunions in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta: A retrospective study

Varun Puvanesarajah, Jay R. Shapiro, Paul D. Sponseller, Rachel Box

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with osteogenesis imperfecta often develop nonunions, as internal fixation has limited applicability in this condition. We report the outcomes of a modified "sandwich technique" in the treatment of long-bone nonunions in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta; this technique brings circumferential stabilization and normal collagen to the nonunion site. Methods: From May 2003 through February 2012, twelve patients (eight females, four males; median age, 39.0 years; range, eleven to seventy-eight years) who had osteogenesis imperfecta (Sillence type I [three], type III [eight], and type IV [one]) and a combined total of thirteen nonunions (two humeral, two radial, three femoral, four tibial, and two ulnar; median duration, 15.0 months; range, six to 204 months) were treated at our institution with compressed sandwich allograft cortical struts. The struts were fashioned to be wide enough to allow for increased osteoconductive surface area and to approximate a hemicylindrical shape. Treatment history and demographics data were acquired through retrospective chart review. Follow-up radiographs were analyzed by two attending orthopaedic surgeons to determine radiographic findings. The median follow-up time was 4.6 years (range, 2.1 to 10.3 years). Results: All thirteen nonunions, including one requiring a second graft procedure, healed with abundant, smooth allograft incorporation, resulting in an initial healing rate of 92% because of a refracture in one patient. This patient's nonunion ultimately healed with additional allograft struts and a new intramedullary rod. One patient required removal of prominent screws. The final follow-up examinations revealed no pain or refracture at the original nonunion site. All patients regained their prefracture level of function. Conclusions: Sandwich allograft struts constitute a durable, safe method for the stabilization and healing of persistent long-bone nonunions in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta. All patients showed incorporation of the allograft to the native diaphysis. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 18 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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