Vascularized composite tissue transfers or open fractures with massive soft-tissue defects in the lower extremities

Hiroshi Yajima, Susumu Tamai, Yasunori Kobata, Keiichi Murata, Akihiro Fukui, Yoshinori Takakura
Microsurgery 2002, 22 (3): 114-21
From 1982 to 1998, we treated 39 patients with type IIIB and IIIC fractures in the lower extremities by vascularized composite tissue transfers. Thirty-four of the lesions affected the lower leg, and 5 the foot and ankle. The peroneal flap was used in 25 cases, the latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap in 12, the scapula flap in 1, and the gracilis muscle flap in 1. In cases with a peroneal flap transfer, 18 cases used osteocutaneous flap with a fibula. Postoperative circulatory disturbances resulted in revision surgery in 9 patients. Eventually, grafting was successful in 37 patients. In patients with a lower leg reconstruction, additional bone grafting was performed in 7 of 16 patients with cutaneous or musculocutaneous flap transfers. No patient with osteocutaneous flap transfers required an additional bone grafting. The mean periods between injury and time to bone union were 11.7 months in patients with cutaneous flap transfers, and 7.5 months in patients with osteocutaneous flap transfers.

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