Long bone non-unions treated with the diamond concept: a case series of 64 patients

Peter V Giannoudis, Suri Gudipati, Paul Harwood, Nikolaos K Kanakaris
Injury 2015, 46 Suppl 8: S48-54
The aim of this retrospective study with prospectively documented data was to report the clinical results of treatment of long bone non-unions using the "diamond concept". Over a 4-year period, patients that presented with a long bone non-union and were managed with the diamond conceptual framework of bone repair were evaluated. Exclusion criteria were hypertrophic, pathological, and infected non-unions. Fixation was revised as it was indicated whilst biological enhancement included the implantation of RIA graft, BMP-7 and concentrated bone marrow aspirate. Data recorded included patient demographics, initial fracture pattern and type of stabilisation, number of previous interventions, time to reoperation, time to union and functional outcome. Painless full weight bearing defined clinical union. Radiological union was defined as the presence of mature callous bridging to at least 3 bone cortices. The minimum follow up was 12 months (range 12-32). In total 64 patients (34 males) with a mean age of 45 years (17-83) were evaluated. Anatomical distribution of non-unions included the femur (54.68%), tibia (34.38%), humerus (4.68%), radius (3.13%) and clavicle (3.13%). The median number of previous interventions was 1 (range 1-5). The majority of patients (82.62%) underwent revision of fixation whereas only bone grafting was performed 9.38% of patients. Three patients developed superficial wound infection (one was MRSA), 1 had deep vein thrombosis and 1 developed heterotopic bone formation. Union was successful in 63/64 (98.4%) non-unions at a mean time of 6 months (range 3-12). All patients were mobilising pain free and returned to their daily living activities at the final follow up. The application of the "diamond concept" in this cohort of patients was associated with a high union rate by providing an optimal mechanical and biological environment. Such an approach should be considered in the surgeon's armamentarium particularly in such cases where difficulty of bone repair is foreseen.

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