Antibiotic Cement Spacer and Induced Membrane Bone Grafting in Open Distal End Femur Fractures with Bone Loss; Radiographic and Functional Outcomes: A Retrospective Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Amandeep hospital, G.T. Road, Near model town, Amritsar, Punjab, India

2 Amandeep Hospital, Model Town, G.T. Road, Amritsar, Punjab, India


Background: Open fractures are a difficult entity, often complicated by infection and nonunion. Bone loss in such fractures adds to the complexity. Conventional techniques of bone defect management are mainly directed toward fracture union but not against preventing infection or joint stiffness.
Objectives: In this study, we evaluated Masquelet's technique for the management of open distal end Femur fractures with bone loss.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with open distal end fractures with bone defects who presented within 3 days of trauma from January 2015 to December 2018, treated by the Masquelet's technique are included in this study. All the patients were operated on by the same surgeon. All the patients were taken up for the first stage of surgery immediately after the presentation. Details of the type of injury, location, soft-tissue condition, length of bone defect, type of fixation, the time difference between antibiotic cement spacer placement and bone grafting, and time to the union were documented.
Results: Fractures with Type IV bone loss (segmental loss) united slower than fractures having some cortical continuity (Type II and III), P=0.003. In Type IV, the bone loss average time to union was 316.6±44.5 days, whereas, in Type III and II, it was 240±30 and 180, respectively. In the first stage, internal fixation with antibiotics cement spacer was done in all cases. In patients with internal fixation with 2nd stage spacer removal plus bone grafting done, time to union was 244.1±42.9 days. No patients had an infection after the first stage of surgery.
Conclusion: The technique of delayed bone grafting after the initial placement of a cement spacer provides a reasonable alternative for the challenging problem of significant bone loss in extremity reconstruction. This technique can be used in either an acute or delayed fashion with equally promising results. The bioactivity of the membrane created by filling large bony defects with cement leads to a favorable environment for bone formation and osseous consolidation of a large void. As this technique becomes more widely applied, the answer to which graft substances to place in the void may become clearer. Increasing clinical evidence will also help support the use of this technique in treating segmental bone loss.