Reconstruction of soft tissue and bone defects in lower extremity with free flaps

Microsurgery. 1998;18(3):176-81. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2752(1998)18:3<176::aid-micr10>;2-v.


This article reports our experiences treating soft tissue and bone defects in the lower extremity with free flaps. One of the most common causes for lower extremity wounds are high-energy injuries. These kinds of injuries contain soft tissue and bone defects beyond neurovascular complications. The rate of infection and nonunion is very high in these injuries. Between 1988 and 1996, we applied 33 flaps to 28 patients. The numbers and kinds of the free flaps are as follows: 12 latissimus dorsi, nine radial forearm, seven lateral arm, three vascularised fibula grafts with skin, one gracilis, and one medial plantar flap. Three free flaps were lost (12%). The success rate is 88%. The advantage of free flaps is that they allow the reconstruction of the large defects in one-session operations. Thus, they decrease the rate of infection and increase that of nonunion. The patient returns to his active life at an earlier stage.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone and Bones / injuries*
  • Child
  • Debridement
  • External Fixators
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / surgery*
  • Surgical Flaps*