Sixty-two tibial diaphyseal nonunions in 60 patients were treated with a posterolateral bone graft over an 18-year period (1969-1987). The majority were complicated by severe soft tissue damage or segmental bone loss. Thirty-four had a deep infection. Primary healing was achieved in 92%. Three types of bone grafts have been used: from 1969 to 1978 either a whole iliac bone graft (10 tibiae) or a nonvascularized fibular graft (11 tibiae) was used. Since 1978 small iliac cancellous bone chips (41 remaining tibiae) were applied to the posterior surfaces of tibia and interosseous membrane. In three tibiae with major bone defects, cancellous allografts were added to the autogenous bone. The use of cortico-cancellous bone chips resulted in a shorter healing time, compared to a nonvascularized fibular graft or a massive corticocancellous bone block.