Vascularized medial femoral trochlea osteochondral flap reconstruction of advanced Kienböck disease

Heinz K. Bürger, Christian Windhofer, Alexander J. Gaggl, James P. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To describe the operative technique and report the results of 16 consecutive cases of arthroplasty for advanced Kienböck disease using a vascularized osteochondral graft from the medial femoral trochlea (MFT) with a minimum 12-month follow-up. Methods Chart reviews of 16 cases of osteochondral MFT flap transfers for lunate reconstruction were performed in 2 institutions. Mean patient age was 35 years (range, 19-51 y). Preoperative Lichtman staging was 2 in 7 patients, 3a in 8 patients, and 3b in 1. Five of 16 patients had undergone a previous procedure for Kienböck disease (3 radial shortening osteotomies, 1 wrist denervation, and 1 distal radius vascularized bone grafting). Ulnar variance recorded at the time of the MFT reconstruction was negative in 8 patients, positive in 6 patients, and neutral in 2 patients. Follow-up data were recorded at a minimum of 12 months (average, 19 mo). Radiographic parameters recorded included preoperative ulnar variance, preoperative and final follow-up radioscaphoid angle, lunate height, lunate diameter, and the Stahl index and Lichtman stage. Results Healing was confirmed in 15 of 16 reconstructed lunates. Lichtman staging remained unchanged in 10 patients, improved in 4 patients from grade 3a and 3b to 2, and worsened in 2 patients from grade 3a to 3b. All but 1 patient experienced improvement in wrist pain (12/16 complete relief; 3/16 incomplete relief). Wrist motion at follow-up averaged 50° extension and 38°flexion, similar to preoperative measurements. Grip strength at follow-up was 85% of the contralateral side. Conclusions Osteochondral vascularized MFT flaps provided a reliable means of lunate reconstruction in advanced Kienböck disease. This flap allowed resection of the proximal portion of the collapsed lunate and reconstruction with an anatomically analogous convex segment of vascularized cartilage-bearing bone. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1322
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Descending geniculate artery
  • Kienböck disease
  • medial femoral condyle osteochondral flap
  • medial femoral trochlea flap
  • osteochondral autograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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