Vascularized fibula transfer for lower limb reconstruction

Alexandros E Beris, Marios G Lykissas, Anastasios V Korompilias, Marios D Vekris, Gregory I Mitsionis, Konstantinos N Malizos, Panayiotis N Soucacos
Microsurgery 2011, 31 (3): 205-11
Massive bony defects of the lower extremity are usually the result of high-energy trauma, tumor resection, or severe sepsis. Vascularized fibular grafts are useful in the reconstruction of large skeletal defects, especially in cases of scarred and avascular recipient sites, or in patients with combined bone and soft-tissue defects. Microvascular free fibula transfer is considered the most suitable autograft for reconstruction of the middle tibia because of its long cylindrical straight shape, mechanical strength, predictable vascular pedicle, and hypertrophy potential. The ability to fold the free fibula into two segments or to combine it with massive allografts is a useful technique for reconstruction of massive bone defects of the femur or proximal tibia. It can also be transferred with skin, fascia, or muscle as a composite flap. Proximal epiphyseal fibula transfer has the potential for longitudinal growth and can be used in the hip joint remodeling procedures. Complications can be minimized by careful preoperative planning of the procedure, meticulous intraoperative microsurgical techniques, and strict postoperative rehabilitation protocols. This literature review highlights the different surgical techniques, indications, results, factors influencing the outcome, and major complications of free vascularized fibular graft for management of skeletal or composite defects of the lower limb.

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