dipofascial sural artery flap for the reconstruction of distal lower extremity defects
- C Yang, Y Li, S Geng
- Oper Orthop Traumatol,
In this study we present our experiences with the reverse sural fasciocutaneous flap to reconstruct the distal lower limb soft tissue defects caused by traumatic injuries. These flap graftings were carried out from Oct. 2010 to Dec. 2012 in our department. The series consisted of 36 patients, including 21 men and 15 women with an average age of 46.2 years (14–83 years) and with a medium follow-up period of 18 months (12–24 months). Of all the cases of acute trauma, there were 10 cases of trauma of distal tibia, 9 cases of trauma of perimalleolus, and 17 cases of trauma of midfoot and forefoot. Related risk factors in the patients were diabetes (2 cases), advanced age (>65 years, 3 cases) and cigarette smoking (6 cases). The reverse flow sural island flap irrigation depended on lower perforators of the peroneal artery. The fasciocutaneous pedicle was 3–4 cm in width and the anatomical structures consisted of the superficial and deep fascia, the sural nerve, short saphenous vein, superficial sural artery together with an islet of subcutaneous cellular tissue and skin. The most proximal border of the flap was only 1.5 cm away from the popliteal skin crease and the pivot point was 5–7 cm above the tip of the lateral malleolus. All the flaps survived. No arterial crisis occurred in any case. The venous congestion occurred in 2 cases and got better after raising the limbs and bloodletting. Only in an old man, 1.5 cm necrosis of distal margin of his flap occurred and finally healed after continuous dressing change. One-stage skin grafting was performed, and all the donor sites were sutured and successfully healed. It was concluded that the reverse sural fasciocutaneous flap is safe and reliable to extend to the proximal third even near the popliteal skin crease. We also concluded this flap can be safely and efficiently used to treat patients with large and far soft-tissue defects from the distal leg to the forefoot with more versatility and it is easier to reach the recipient sites.