Morbidity from anterior iliac crest bone harvesting for secondary alveolar bone grafting: an outcome assessment study

Zaid H Baqain, Mohammed Anabtawi, Ashraf Abu Karaky, Ziad Malkawi
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2009, 67 (3): 570-5

PURPOSE: To determine the postoperative morbidity of harvesting cancellous bone from the anterior iliac crest for treating secondary cleft alveolus patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-four patients treated for alveolar clefts in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery unit at the Jordan University Hospital were included. Medical notes were reviewed for intraoperative and postoperative complications; patients were interviewed to fill a questionnaire on postoperative recovery. The donor site was evaluated for the following factors: chronic pain, neurapraxia of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, abnormal gait, altered sensation over the scar, skin tenderness, bone tenderness, deformity of the bony contour, and scar length and width were measured.

RESULTS: Age at the time of surgery was 14.0+/-4.1 years (mean +/- SD), and follow-up was 23.2+/-19.3 months. Patients spent a median of 3 days in hospital (range=2-4 days), patients walked normally after 10.4+/-13.2 days and resumed normal activities, including sports, after a mean of 16.0+/-19.6 days. Two patients had neurapraxia of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (8%), 2 reported mild residual scar tenderness (8%) and 1 of the latter complained of tenderness on palpating the iliac crest (4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Harvesting cancellous bone from the anterior iliac crest in young patients is well-tolerated, allows early resumption of normal activities, has no effect on growth, has minimal morbidity, and a reasonable esthetic outcome.

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