Free tissue transfer
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Three latissimus dorsi muscle flaps with skin grafts, one latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap, and one scapular flap were used in reconstruction of deep burns of the heels and calf caused by various agents. The follow-up period was 11 to 46 months. Of the five patients treated, two sustained electrical injuries, two had contact burns and one suffered a degloving injury with a contact burn resulting from a car accident. The latissimus dorsi muscle flaps with skin grafts gave excellent results in reconstruction of the calf and ankle areas due to their large caliber vessels and versatility. The latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap was indicated in a case with extensive soft tissue loss on the sole of the foot with stiffness of the ankle joint in plantar flexion. A non-sensory scapular flap was satisfactory for reconstruction of the medial half of the heel since the remaining lateral half of the heel provided adequate sensation for weight-bearing and protection. Early reconstruction of the burned lower part of the leg with free flaps shortens hospitalization and prevents further extension of the injury. Reconstruction of a burned distal lower extremity provides a challenge for the reconstructive surgeon due to limited availability of local tissue; there is durable soft tissue in the weight-bearing area and a relatively poor blood supply compared to other areas of the body. The basic requirement in the treatment of a full thickness burn is early debridement and immediate coverage of the defect with a skin graft or a well vascularized flap. Even though multiple local flaps, such as axial [7, 17], muscle , musculocutaneous , fasciocutaneous , and island flaps , have been described. These flaps are useful in relatively small wounds with undamaged sourrounding tissues. Electrical injuries are manifested in a variety of clinical and pathologic ways with early, as well as delayed, tissue damage complicating reconstruction. With the advent and refinement of microvascular techniques, it has become possible to reconstruct extensive defects of the distal lower extremity with either free muscle flaps with skin grafts , myocutaneous free flaps , or axial free flaps . This paper relates our experience in reconstruction of extensive defects of the lower extremities caused by various burning agents.
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