Donor site morbidity of anterior iliac crest and calvarium bone grafts: A comparative case-control study

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2016 Apr;44(4):364-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2015.12.019. Epub 2016 Jan 8.


Purpose: Notwithstanding its donor site morbidity, autogenous bone graft harvesting is still considered the gold standard for cases of extreme resorption of the alveolar ridge. The aim of this study was to assess donor site morbidity of calvarium and anterior iliac crest harvesting.

Material and methods: A total of 27 edentulous patients who had undergone calvarial bone harvesting were matched with 27 edentulous patients in which anterior iliac crest bone was harvested. All patients had been treated between March 2011 and December 2013. Patients were matched according to age, sex, and duration of follow-up. Donor site morbidity was assessed by medical records, patient questionnaires, and physical examination. Patients were recalled to assess persisting morbidity of the harvesting procedure.

Results: Exposure of the dura occurred in three patients in the calvarial group. Postoperative pain (based on a visual analog scale) after harvesting was significantly higher in the anterior iliac crest group. Scars were significantly longer and contours deficits were significantly more prominent after calvarial harvesting, although not bothersome to the patients. Long-term pain was negligible in both groups, and satisfaction with the procedure did not differ.

Conclusion: Both harvesting techniques were accompanied by low long-term donor site morbidity and high patient satisfaction.

Keywords: Bone grafting; Calvarium; Complications; Iliac crest; Maxilla; Morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / surgery
  • Alveolar Ridge Augmentation / methods*
  • Bone Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ilium / injuries
  • Ilium / surgery
  • Jaw, Edentulous
  • Male
  • Skull
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / adverse effects*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Transplant Donor Site / surgery
  • Transplantation, Autologous