Repair of Severe Composite Tissue Defects in the Lower Leg Using Two Different Cross-Leg Free Composite Tissue Flaps

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Abstract

This article reports 2 cross-leg free composite tissue flaps for repairing the severe composite tissue defects in lower leg without suitable adjacent recipient vasculature for microvascular anastomosis. The osseous myocutaneous flap of ilium and tensor fascia lata pedicled with ascending branch of lateral femoral circumflex vessels and the osseous muscle flap of scapula and latissimus dorsi pedicled with subscapular vessels were performed, respectively, to reconstruct the bone and soft-tissue defects in the lower leg of 2 patients. Both donor vessels were the posterior tibial artery and great saphenous vein from the contralateral lower leg. The legs and the bone flaps were immobilized by an external fixator. The periods of pedicle division were 43 and 67 days, respectively, after transplantation. Both flaps survived after pedicle division and the patients regained the ability to walk. There were no such complications as joint stiffness or donor site morbidity except for a linear scar. The 2 cross-leg free composite tissue flaps were optional methods for salvaging limbs that were otherwise nonreconstructable. But the indication for cross-leg free-tissue flap should be limited strictly.

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