Lateral column lengthening (LCL) is used to address the forefoot abduction associated with the adult acquired flatfoot. This opening wedge osteotomy can be filled with either allograft or autograft bone.
The investigators sought to determine union rates and any loss of correction in patients undergoing LCL with autograft versus allograft.
Over a 3-year period, 126 LCLs performed by five surgeons in 120 patients were reviewed. Autograft was used in 51 patients, allograft in 75 patients. Times to clinical and radiographic union were established for these patients. Any loss of correction of forefoot abduction as manifested by talonavicular uncoverage was recorded for those grafts that healed. Failure was defined as nonunion or loss of 50% or greater correction. The size of the implanted graft was assessed as a risk factor for failure.
There were 20 total failures: seven in patients with autograft and 13 in patients with allograft (p = 0.63). The size of the implanted graft was larger in those patients that did fail (p = 0.04).
The rate of nonunion and loss of correction for LCL was not significantly different between allograft and autograft. The overall rate of nonunion may be higher than has previously been reported.