Advantages of the pedicled rectus femoris myofascial flap for groin wound coverage include a sufficient arc of rotation to reach the groin and inguinal region, a dependable vascular pedicle, and low donor-site morbidity. The authors aim to demonstrate the functional deficit resulting from use of the rectus femoris flap in groin wound reconstruction.
One hundred six rectus femoris flaps were performed for groin wound reconstruction over a 10-year period. From this cohort, consent was successfully obtained from 20 patients for testing of thigh function. Testing included both a subjective questionnaire eliciting patient assessment of postoperative thigh strength, and objective muscle strength testing using isometric dynamometer analysis. An age- and sex-matched control group of 20 subjects with no operative history or known discrepancy of thigh strength underwent identical testing.
: Subjects were tested an average of 33 months postoperatively. Dynamometer studies demonstrated a mean nonoperative and operative thigh peak torque of 135 ft-lb and 104 ft-lb, respectively, or a 21 percent difference in isometric knee extensor strength favoring the dominant leg (p = 0.02). Similarly, the control group exhibited a 17 percent strength difference between both thighs (p = 0.04).
Operative subjects exhibited a lower peak torque generated by the operative leg relative to the nonoperative leg. However, a similar difference was observed in the matched control cohort. Thus, there is little isolated deficit in quadriceps strength as a result of rectus femoris harvest.
"For example, anterolateral thigh flaps have been correlated with decreased sensibility in the donor thigh,15,16 and one study even reported that 9% of patients in their study walked with a limp postoperatively.16 Sbitany et al17 reported a 21% difference in isometric knee strength following rectus femoris harvest although a similar difference was found in the control group. The SGAP flap limits its morbidity by utilizing the perforator dissection technique, and although no muscle is harvested, flap dissection requires that the gluteus muscle be partially divided and retracted potentially causing injury to the muscle and potential for problems with gait. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Harvesting the superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap involves dissection of vessels through the gluteal muscle, potentially compromising gait and ambulation. We compared patient-reported gait and ambulation problems between SGAP flap and deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap reconstructions.
Forty-three patients who underwent bilateral free flap breast reconstruction (17 SGAP, 26 DIEP) participated in the study. The Lower Extremity Functional Score (LEFS) was administered with a supplementary section evaluating gait, balance, fatigue, and pain. Patients evaluated how they felt 2 months postoperatively and at time of survey administration. Multivariate regressions were fit to assess association between type of reconstruction and self-reported lower extremity function controlling for potential confounding factors.
Although there was no significant difference in overall LEFS between the cohorts on the date of survey, the SGAP patients reported greater difficulty performing the following activities after surgery (P < 0.05): work, usual hobbies, squatting, walking a mile, walking up stairs, sitting for an hour, running, turning, and hopping. The SGAP patients also reported easier fatigue (P < 0.01) both during the early postoperative period and on the date of survey.
SGAP flap surgery causes no statistically significant differences in overall LEFS. However, SGAP patients did report donor-site morbidity with decreased ability to perform certain activities and increased fatigue and pain in the longer follow-up period. We feel that patients should be educated regarding gait issues and undergo physical therapy during the early postoperative period.
"Plastic and reconstructive surgeons have reported variable mid-term outcomes after harvesting rectus femoris. In a controlled study of 20 such patients investigated almost three years postoperatively, Sbitany et al.  found a 21% reduction in isometric knee extensor strength in the operated limb compared to the contralateral normal limb and a 17% difference between dominant and non-dominant lower limbs in controls. The authors concluded that there was little deficit in quadriceps strength after use of a pedicled rectus femoris muscle flap. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two cadavers, one male and one female, with short short left-sided rectus femoris muscle belly are described. The variant muscle belly was foreshortened by approximately 30-40% compared to the contralateral normal muscle, with no evidence of scarring. Numerous anatomical variants of rectus femoris have been described but are rare. This particular variant has not been documented previously. Considering the widespread use of the pedicled rectus femoris muscle flap in reconstruction of complex groin wounds, this rare variant is of surgical significance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular surgery-related groin complications can lead to catastrophic outcomes and pose a significant healthcare burden. We have taken steps to reduce potential complications at the time of initial surgery by performing prophylactic muscle flaps. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and benefit of prophylactic flaps in high-risk patients.
A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients undergoing open vascular surgery involving the femoral vessels through a groin incision between 2005 and 2010. Patients receiving prophylactic muscle flaps at their initial surgery were compared with those patients not receiving a flap (control).
Sixty-eight prophylactic flaps in 53 patients were compared with 195 open vascular procedures without flaps in 178 patients. The most frequent indication was reoperative bypass surgery with prosthetic reconstruction (63%). The prophylactic patient group exhibited significantly higher rates of comorbidities, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (25.0% vs 12.6%; P = .018) and hyperlipidemia (80.9% vs 59.1%; P = .002). Patients receiving prophylactic flaps had lower rates of overall complications (16.2% vs 50.3%; P < .001), infections (1.5% vs 38.5%; P < .001), seroma (0% vs 7.2%; P = .023), and lymphocele (1.5% vs 15.4%; P = .002). Multivariate regression demonstrated that obesity (odds ratio [OR], 2.1 [1.001-4.49]; P = .05), smoking (OR, 2.7 [1.37-5.16]; P = .004), reoperation (OR, 3.5 [1.41-8.63]; P = .007), and prosthetic graft reconstruction (OR, 2.0 [1.03-3.78]; P = .04) were associated with postoperative complications. Additionally, in analyzing all groin complications in all patients, we found that patients who received a prophylactic flap experienced significantly less groin wound complications (OR, 0.17; P < .001).
Complications following open groin surgery are common, lead to significant morbidity, and are very costly. Performing prophylactic muscle flaps at the initial surgery to cover the femoral vessels and reduce dead space can significantly reduce complications in select high-risk patients. Prophylactic flaps are safe, effective, and should be considered in patients with multiple comorbidities undergoing high-risk groin surgery, such as reoperative prosthetic bypass surgery.
Journal of vascular surgery: official publication, the Society for Vascular Surgery [and] International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, North American Chapter 12/2011; 55(4):1081-6. DOI:10.1016/j.jvs.2011.10.110 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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