The Lister’s tubercle trapdoor: a minimally invasive technique for harvesting cancellous bone from the distal radius


Bone graft harvest from the distal radius, immediately proximal to the Lister’s tubercle, is a common technique in upper limb surgery. Here, we present a minimally invasive technique to harvest bone graft using a replaceable, well vascularized access trapdoor. The hinged trapdoor technique allows a small incision over Lister’s tubercle and does not violate the fibro-osseous tunnel of the third compartment. Nearby structures like the superficial radial nerve, extensor carpi radialis brevis and extensor pollicis longus are safely protected throughout. Closure of the trapdoor creates a smooth surface and therefore little or no surrounding trauma.

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Correspondence to Mark Ross.

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The Brisbane Hand and Upper Limb Research Institute receives funding from Integra Health Sciences, Zimmer Biomet, Newclip Technics, LMT Surgical, DePuy Synthes.

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Ross, M., McKenzie, J. & Couzens, G. The Lister’s tubercle trapdoor: a minimally invasive technique for harvesting cancellous bone from the distal radius. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 30, 179–182 (2020) doi:10.1007/s00590-019-02523-2

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  • Autograft
  • Trapdoor
  • Lister’s tubercle
  • Radius
  • Bone harvest