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

  • Mark RossEmail author
  • Jamie McKenzie
  • Gregory Couzens


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.


Autograft Trapdoor Lister’s tubercle Radius Bone harvest 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

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


  1. 1.
    de Boer HH (1988) The history of bone grafts. Clin Orthop Relat Res 226:292–298Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Myeroff C, Archdeacon M (2011) Autogenous bone graft: donor sites and techniques. J Bone Joint Surg Am 93(23):2227–2236. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kitzinger HB, Karle B, Prommersberger KJ, van Schoonhoven J, Frey M (2012) Four-corner arthrodesis-does the source of graft affect bony union rate? Iliac crest versus distal radius bone graft. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 65(3):379–383. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jarrett P, Kinzel V, Stoffel K (2007) A biomechanical comparison of scaphoid fixation with bone grafting using iliac bone or distal radius bone. J Hand Surg Am 32(9):1367–1373. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Patel JC, Watson K, Joseph E, Garcia J, Wollstein R (2003) Long-term complications of distal radius bone grafts. J Hand Surg Am 28(5):784–7887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Arrington ED, Smith WJ, Chambers HG, Bucknell AL, Davino NA (1996) Complications of iliac crest bone graft harvesting. Clin Orthop Relat Res 329:300–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mirly HL, Manske PR, Szerzinski JM (1995) Distal anterior radius bone graft in surgery of the hand and wrist. J Hand Surg Am 20(4):623–627. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    McGrath MH, Watson HK (1981) Late results with local bone graft donor sites in hand surgery. J Hand Surg Am 6(3):234–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brisbane Hand and Upper Limb Research InstituteBrisbane Private HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The Princess Alexandra HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of MedicineThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations