The Iliac Crest Top Hat Bone Graft for Challenging Metacarpal Nonunion

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Metacarpal nonunion is a rare outcome of metacarpal injury, and little has been published about its management. Care typically includes open reduction and internal fixation with a possible bone graft, similar to the treatment of other nonunions. However, there is no literature guidance if traditional methods do not lead to union. To improve the treatment of these recalcitrant metacarpal diaphyseal nonunions, we proposed a new surgical technique using a “top hat” bone graft harvested from the iliac crest. The graft is carefully shaped to create a cancellous “crown,” which is inserted into the nonunion site, and cortical “brims,” which are used to secure the graft to the metacarpal. This has been successful in treating 2 cases of metacarpal nonunion that failed to heal with first-line intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694.e1-694.e4
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Iliac crest bone graft
  • metacarpal
  • nonunion
  • top hat


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