Anatomic study and clinical application of distally-based neuro-myocutaneous compound flaps in the leg

Ai-Xi Yu, Kai Deng, Shengxiang Tao, Gurong Yu, Xiaohui Zheng
Microsurgery 2007, 27 (6): 528-32

OBJECTIVE: Anatomical study on the anastomosis between the neurovascular axis and the musculocutaneous perforators in leg. The distally-based neuron-myocutaneous flap was used for repairing special patients with soft tissue defect in foot and ankle.

METHODS: Systematical observation was carried out on 30 injected lower legs about the anastomosis between the neurovascular axis and the musculocutaneous perforators, and we summarized the clinical experiences from February 2004 on 12 cases using distally-based neuron-myocutaneous flap for repairing special patients with soft tissue defect in foot and ankle.

RESULTS: The neuron-vessels of sural nerve anastomosed permanently with the musculocutaneous perforators of medial and lateral head of gastrocnemius. There were two to three anastomoses found, respectively. The medial anastomotic branches were found larger in caliber than the lateral ones. The spatium intermuscular branches of the posterior tibial artery gave off their junior branches and anastomosed with the vessels in or out of the soleus muscle. There were two to three muscular branches perforated out of the soleus muscle, with mean caliber 0.5 +/- 0.2 mm and accompanying with one to two veins. The neuron-vessels of the superficial fibular nerve gave off alone its course two to three muscular branches to the long extensor muscle digits and the long fibular muscle, and one to two fasciocutaneous to the skin. The diameter of the muscular branches was 0.4 +/- 0.2 mm in average. Accounting for the operating models in the 12 cases, we had distally-based sural neuron-myocutaneous flap in 7 cases, saphenous neuron-myocutaneous flap in 4 cases, and superficial fibular neuron-myocutaneous flap in 1 case. All these cases were followed up at least for 2-6 months and had the significant results of nice limb's shape and cured osteomyelitis.

CONCLUSION: Distally-based neuro-myocutaneous flap in leg can live with reliable blood circulation. These flaps offer excellent donor sites for repairing special the soft tissue defect in foot and ankle.

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