Longitudinal outcomes and application of the subunit principle to 165 foot and ankle free tissue transfers.
ABSTRACT Free tissue transfer to the lower extremity has become a well-established reconstructive modality. The purpose of this study was to develop a "subunit" approach to patients undergoing free tissue transfer for foot and ankle wounds to help further define subunit-specific functional and aesthetic operative goals.
The institutional review board approved this retrospective review of 161 patients who underwent free tissue transplantation for foot and ankle wounds between March 1, 1997, and February 28, 2007, at a single institution. Endpoints included flap-related complications, secondary surgery, time to ambulation, flap stability, and limb salvage.
The most common types of wounds treated were trauma-related [n = 120 (75 percent)], diabetes-related [n = 24 (15 percent)], and oncologic defects [n = 8 (5 percent)]. Ten different donor sites were used for reconstruction, with the latissimus dorsi flap being the most common. The mean follow-up time was 26.9 months (range, 0.5 to 130 months). Mean time to ambulation was 3.1 months (range, 0.75 to 14 months). Overall, 11 percent of patients required revision surgery for flap instability at a mean time of 25.3 months after flap surgery. Wounds located over the heel (subunit 5) were most likely to develop instability (Fisher's exact test, p < 0.05). The overall 5-year limb salvage rate as determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis was 89 percent.
The use of free tissue transplantation for treatment of foot and ankle wounds is associated with a high rate of limb salvage. Although a variety of flaps may be used, the application of the subunit principle can assist surgeons in designing flaps that will address subunit-specific functional and aesthetic concerns.
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ABSTRACT: LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the indications for the use of free-tissue transfer in lower extremity reconstruction. 2. Understand modalities to enhance the healing and care of soft tissue and bone before free-tissue transfer. 3. Understand the lower extremity reconstructive ladder and the place of free-tissue transfer on the ladder. 4. Understand the specific principles of leg, foot, and ankle reconstruction. 5. Understand the factors that influence the decision to perform an immediate versus a delayed reconstruction. Free-tissue transfer using microsurgical techniques is now routine for the salvage of traumatized lower extremities. Indications for microvascular tissue transplantation for lower extremity reconstruction include high-energy injuries, most middle and distal-third tibial wounds, radiation wounds, osteomyelitis, nonunions, and tumor reconstruction. The authors discuss the techniques and indications for lower extremity reconstruction.Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 10/2001; 108(4):1029-41; quiz 1042. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this study, 12 cases of reconstruction of the heel and plantar area since 1982 are reviewed. Six nonsensate muscle free flaps and six sensate fasciocutaneous flaps were used, respectively. Categories assessed were the time interval for return to daily living activities, sensation to light touch, pinprick, Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test of the reconstructed area for sensory evaluation; and results of pedograms (maximal pressure, pressure distribution, and total contact area of the plantar surface). Follow-up periods were between 2 and 14 years, with an average of 6 years. Better sensory results and early return to daily living activities were observed in the sensate flap group, but the defects were smaller in this group. Despite the slightly longer time to return to daily living activities and worse sensory results, long-term follow-up showed that patients with nonsensate flaps had no difficulty in performing living activities if they continued to be careful and to use some kind of protective shoes. The results of the pedogram analyses were similar between the two groups with regard to total contact area of the reconstructed foot in relation to the healthy foot. Pressure values of the reconstructed areas in sensate flaps were found to be close to pressure values in the same weight areas of the normal foot. The differences between pressure values of the sensate and nonsensate flaps were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Therefore, in reconstruction of the weight-bearing surface of the foot, each case should be evaluated individually. The reconstructive method should be chosen according to the location and soft-tissue requirements of the defect.Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 01/2000; 105(2):574-580. · 3.54 Impact Factor
Article: Management of open tibial fractures.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Open tibial fractures are challenging injuries to deal with. To receive the best outcome they require the services of both an experienced orthopaedic trauma surgeon and plastic surgeon with an interest in lower limb trauma. The A&E management should follow ATLS protocols followed by administration of prophylactic antibiotics. The surgical management includes adequate débridement, lavage, skeletal stabilisation and ultimately soft tissue coverage. The best method of skeletal stabilisation is yet to be proven, although from the studies available it appears that reamed and unreamed nailing as well as external fixation are all acceptable surgical options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, which the surgeon should be aware of. The results of immediate soft tissue coverage following open tibia fractures are encouraging, however this method is not yet adequately proven to be safe by randomised controlled trials, and hence cannot be encouraged routinely. Definitive soft tissue cover should certainly be achieved within 5–10 days of the injury. Bone morphogenic proteins may have a role in promoting union of grade III open tibial fractures. When patients have a mangled extremity score of greater than or equal to 7, or grade IIIC injuries, surgeons should consider early amputation, rather than limb salvage.Tropical Doctor 02/1999; 29(1):46-9. · 0.61 Impact Factor