The use of a locking custom contoured blade plate for peri-articular nonunions

E. J. Harvey, M. B. Henley, M. F. Swiontkowski, J. Agel, S. K. Benirschke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A retrospective chart and radiographic review was performed of 37 operative procedures over 7 years period for peri-articular nonunions. This was a consecutive cohort from a single orthopedic trauma service of a Level 1 center. Nonunions of the tibia and humerus were treated with blade plates fashioned from standard compression plates. Twenty-nine operative sites were treated successfully. The average age was 45.0 years; the average follow-up being 5.3 years. The average number of operations before blade plate was 4.0 (range 1-16). Sixteen blade plates were performed in patients with a diagnosis of clinical infection and all progressed to union and resolution of infection. Seven tissue transfers were used as adjunctive therapy. Five other patients with blade plate surgery had persistent nonunion, of which four united after a second custom contoured blade plate procedure. This study illustrates that surgeon contoured blade plates are an option for peri-articular nonunions even in the presence of infection. This technique resulted in a high union rate and a low complication rate compared to other options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2003


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