Critical-Size Bone Defects: Is There a Consensus for Diagnosis and Treatment?

Aaron Nauth, Emil Schemitsch, Brent Norris, Zachary Nollin, J. Tracy Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


There is a significant burden of disease associated with bone defects, and their management is challenging. These injuries have a profound clinical and economic impact, and outcomes are limited by high rates of complication and reoperation, as well as poor functional outcomes. There remains a lack of consensus around definitions, reliable models, and best practices for the surgical management of bone defects. The current state of the literature on bone defects is reviewed here, with a focus on defining critical-size bone defect, the use of the induced membrane technique, the role of biologics, and the management of infected bone defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S7-S11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone defect
  • Bone graft substitutes
  • Critical size
  • Induced membrane
  • Infection
  • Masquelet
  • Osteomyelitis


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