Anterior iliac crest bone graft harvesting using the corticocancellous reamer system

Geoffrey H. Westrich, David S. Geller, Martin J. O'Malley, Jonathan T. Deland, David L. Helfet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the anterior iliac crest bone graft harvesting procedure using a corticocancellous acetabular reamer system. Design: A total of 390 bone grafting procedures were reviewed using retrospective chart review. Two hundred twenty procedures were performed using the reamer system, and 170 were performed using traditional techniques (cortical strip, tricortical wedge, and cancellous trap door grafts). Setting: The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York. Participants: Operative cases involving an anterior iliac crest bone graft procedure between January 1, 1991 and February 28, 1998. Main Outcome Measurements: Complications were organized by the categories major, intermediate, and minor. Statistical analysis included assessment of comorbidity to determine risk factors that may be associated with a propensity for complications. Results: Of the 390 patients reviewed, 13.1 percent (51 of 390) developed a total of seventy-one complications. Of the seventy-one complications, forty were reamer-associated and thirty-one were traditional method-associated complications. As compared with the traditional group, major morbidity was lower in the reamer group (0.9 percent [2 of 220] as compared with 1.8 percent [3 of 170] [p = 0.4]). Intermediate and minor morbidity were slightly higher in the reamer group than in the traditional group (5.9 percent [13 of 220] as compared with 5.3 percent [9 of 170] [p = 0.7] and 9.5 percent [21 of 220] as compared with 7.1 percent [12 of 170] [p = 0.4], respectively). Of the forty reamer-associated complications, 90 percent (36 of 40) resolved within ninety days (average 36.6 days). Of the thirty-one traditional method-associated complications, 74.2 percent (23 of 31) were resolved by 90 days (average 50.6 days). Using logistical regression analysis obesity (body mass index) (p = 0.03) and smoking (p = 0.03) were correlated with development of a complication. Furthermore, if a patient was obese and a smoker, the analysis predicted an 83 percent chance of developing a complication. Conclusions: The reamer technique was found to be safe and efficacious while producing a large amount of autogenous corticocancellous bone graft. Overall complication rates for the reamer and the traditional groups were comparable. The corticocancellous reamer system represents an effective option for bone graft harvesting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 7 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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