Journal List > J Korean Soc Spine Surg > v.11(1) > 1035637

Kim, Moon, Sim, and Lee: A Comparative Study of Donor Site Morbidity between Patients with or without Iliac Donor Site Reconstruction after Anterior Thoracolumbar Spinal Fusion using Auto-Iliac Tricortical Strut done Graft.


Study Design

A comparative retrospective study between those who have and have not undergone donor site reconstruction after thoracolumbar spinal anterior interbody fusion using an auto-iliac bone graft.


To determine the efficacy of iliac reconstruction in reducing iliac donor site morbidity.

Summary of Literature Review

An autogenous bone graft harvested from the iliac crest is still the gold standard for spinal anterior interbody fusion. However, defects of a significant size often remain in the donor site, which may cause pain, pelvic instability and cosmetic deformity etc. Iliac donor site reconstruction with bone cement is one of the methods for reducing the donor site morbidity, with a relatively easy technique.

Materials and Methods

A review of patients who underwent iliac bone graft harvesting, with or without reconstruction, by a single orthopaedic surgeon was conducted. The iliac donor site morbidity, at least one after remote surgery was compared in those who had and had not undergone iliac reconstruction. All patients were evaluated by an independent observer. During a two and half year period, 61 patients met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-three patients underwent iliac donor site reconstruction with bone cement and 9 with auto rib bone reconstruction, while the remaining 29 had no donor site reconstruction. Patients were asked to assess the duration and severity of their donor site pain, using a visual analogue scale (VAS), and other morbidity, such as cosmetic deformity.


The severity of chronic donor site pain was significantly reduced in the donor site reconstruction group; however, there were no statistically significant differences, other than chronic pain, in the morbidities.


Iliac donor site reconstruction, with bone cement or auto-ribbone, is a relatively easy technique to perform after anterior spinal fusion. Better results can be expected, especially in reducing postoperative donor site pain.


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Figures and Tables%

Fig. 1.
(A) Standing KUB and L-S lateral radiograph of 52-year-old female patient with spondylolisthesis L4. (B) Postop radiograph of same patient, iliac donor site was reconstructed with bone cement. (C) Followup radiograph (14 months after operation) shows firm cement fixation in the iliac donor site.
Fig. 2.
(A) Standing KUB and L-S lateral radiograph of 49-year-old female patient with L5 spondylolisthesis. (B) Postop radiograph of same patient, iliac donor site was not reconstructed. (C) Followup radiograph (18 months after operation) shows large bone defect at the iliac donor site.
Table 2.
Duration of donor site pain
Iliac reconstruction Non-reconstruction
Less than 6 months (PO) 13 9
6~12 months 5 6
More than 12 months 3 9
Total 21 24

Iliac reconstruction: Patients who received iliac reconstruction with cement or auto rib bone.

Non-reconstruction: Patients who did not received iliac reconstruction.

PO: Post operation

Total: Patients who did not experience donor site pain were excluded.

Table 3.
Frequency of donor site pain
Iliac reconstruction Non-reconstruction
Rare 1 1
Seldom 10 4
Occasional 6 13
Frequent 3 4
Continuous 1 2
Total 21 24

Total: Patients who did not experience donor site pain were excluded.

Table 4.
Distribution of donor site morbidity
Iliac reconstruction Non-reconstruction
Pain 7 13
Cosmetic reason 1 3
Weakness 0 2
No morbidity 24 11
Total 32 29
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