JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Applied anatomy of the perforating branches artery and its distally-based flap of sural nerve nutrient vessels]

Fahui Zhang, Qiyang Xie, Heping Zheng
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2005, 19 (7): 501-4
16108326

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the distribution of the perforating branches artery of distally-based flap of sural nerve nutrient vessels and its clinical application.

METHODS: The origins and distribution of perforating branches artery of distally-based flap were observed on specimens of 30 adult cadaveric low limbs by perfusing red gelatin to dissect the artery. Among the 36 cases, there were 21 males, 15 females. Their ages ranged from 6 to 66, 35. 2 in average. The defect area was 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm to 17.0 cm x 11.0 cm. The flap taken ranged from 4 cm x 3 cm to 18 cm x 12 cm.

RESULTS: The perforating branches artery of distally-based flap had 2 to 5 branches and originated from the heel lateral artery, the terminal perforating branches of peroneal artery (diameters were 0.6+/-0.2 mm and 0.8+/-0.2 mm, 1.0 +/- 1.3 cm and 2.8 +/- 1.0 cm to the level of cusp lateral malleolus cusp). The intermuscular septum perforating branches of peroneal artery had 0 to 3 branches. Their rate of presence was 96.7%, 66.7% and 20.0% respectively (the diameters were 0.9 +/- 0.3, 1.0 +/- 0.2 and 0.8 +/- 0.4 mm, and their distances to the level of cusp of lateral malleolus were 5.3 +/- 2.1, 6.8 +/- 2.8 and 7.0 +/- 4.0 cm). Those perforating branches included fascia branches, cutaneous branches, nerve and vein nutrient branches. Those nutrient vessels formed longitudinal vessel chain of sural nerve shaft, vessel chain of vein side and vessel network of deep superficial fascia. The distally-based superficial sural artery island flap was used in 18 cases, all flaps survived.

CONCLUSION: Distally-based sural nerve, small saphenous vein, and nutrient vessels of fascia skin have the same origin. Rotation point of flap is 3.0 cm to the cusp of lateral malleolus, when the distally-based flap is pedicled with the terminal branch of peroneal artery. Rotation point of flap is close to the cusp of lateral malleolus, when the distally-based flap is pedicled with the heel lateral artery.

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