Scientific Article| Volume 47, ISSUE 6, P583.e1-583.e9, June 2022

Induced Membrane Technique for the Treatment of Infected Forearm Nonunion: A Retrospective Study

Published:September 22, 2021DOI:


      Infected forearm nonunion remains a challenge for the hand surgeon. Autologous bone grafting within an induced membrane following implantation of a cement spacer, also known as the Masquelet technique, is a procedure used for addressing segmental bone defects. This report summarized our experience using this technique to treat the infected forearm nonunion.


      We retrospectively reviewed a series of 32 patients treated for infected forearm nonunion by the 2-stage Masquelet technique between 2009 and 2018. There was an infected nonunion of the ulna in 28 patients and an infected nonunion of the radius in 4 patients. All patients had undergone an average of 2.7 procedures before presenting at our institution. Treatment involved a staged procedure in which an antibiotic-impregnated cement spacer was implanted into the bone defect following debridement without internal fixation. It was left in place for 4–6 weeks, during which time a membrane formed around the cement spacer. In the second stage, the induced membrane was incised, and the cement spacer was removed. The defect was then filled with cancellous autograft with the addition of internal fixation. Postoperative radiographs were taken for the evaluation of bone healing. The functional results of the affected forearm were evaluated for motion loss of elbow or wrist and rotation loss of forearm.


      All nonunions healed without recurrent infection or loosening of internal fixation at the time of final follow-up. All the patients showed substantial functional improvement, with excellent results in 14 patients, satisfactory results in 13, and unsatisfactory results in 5.


      The induced membrane technique is an effective solution for infected forearm nonunion.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic IV.

      Key words

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