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Acocella A., Nardi P., Tedesco A., Beninati F., Giannini D.
The anterior iliac crest is the harvest site preferred by many authors because of the quantity and quality of bone obtainable and the simplicity of harvesting techniques. The purpose of the present paper is to present a review of anterior iliac crest harvesting techniques and to illustrate the most serious sequelae reported in the literature. A clinical series is also presented in order to evaluate what is, in our experience, the degree of morbility connected with this donor site. We have controlled 107 patients who underwent bone harvesting from the anterior iliac crest between 1980 and 2000, investigating minor complications such as walking deficiency (immediate and long-term) the formation of seromas, haematomas, adynamic ileus and more serious complications such as retroperitoneal haemorrhages, abdominal hernias, ileus fractures, nervous lesions (immediate and long-term). From our survey it emerged that, among the major complications, incidentally rarely reported in the international literature, we found only a small percentage of cases involving damage to nervous structures. Minor complications were also limited and the only problem remains difficulty in walking after the operation which resolves fully in almost all cases. We can therefore state that the anterior iliac crest remains, to date, an excellent site for harvesting and there is no significant morbility and the surgeon has numerous techniques available for reducing the incidence of complications to the minimum.