JOURNAL ARTICLE

Distally based sural fasciomyocutaneous flap: anatomic study and modified technique for complicated wounds of the lower third leg and weight bearing heel

Shi-Min Chang, Kai Zhang, Hai-Feng Li, Yi-Gang Huang, Jia-Qian Zhou, Feng Yuan, Guang-Rong Yu
Microsurgery 2009, 29 (3): 205-13
19031395
The reconstruction of the distal third leg and weight-bearing heel, especially when complicated with infection and/or dead space, remains a challenge in reconstructive surgery. The distally based sural neurofasciomyocutaneous flap has been proved a valuable tool in repair of the soft tissue defects of those areas. In this report, we present the results of the anatomical study on vascular communication between the suprafascial sural neurovascular axis and the deep gastrocnemius muscle and a modified technique in clinical applications for reconstruction of the soft tissue defects in the distal lower leg and heel. Six lower limbs of fresh cadavers were injected with red gelatin and dissected. A constant vascular connection with average four musculo-fasciocutaneous perforators with diameter 0.2-0.5 mm was identified in the overlapping area between the suprafascial sural neurovascular axis and the deep gastrocnemius muscle. Based on these findings, a modified distally based sural neurofasciomyocutaneous flap including the distal gastrocnemius muscle component was designed and used for repairs of the soft tissue defects in the distal lower limb and plantar heel pad in six patients. The blood supplies of flaps comprised either the peroneal perforator and adipofascial pedicle or the peroneal perforator only. The average size of the fasciocutaneous flap was 51 cm(2), and the muscle component 17.7 cm(2). All flaps survived uneventfully. Our results suggest that this technical modification could provide wider range for applications of the distally based sural neurofasciomyocutaneous flap in repair of the soft tissue defects of the lower extremity and heel.

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