Paraspinous Muscle Flap Reconstruction of Complex Midline Back Wounds: Risk Factors and Postreconstruction Complications

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With increasingly complex spine surgeries now being performed on a more comorbid patient population, the reconstruction of midline back wounds from these procedures is becoming a frequent dilemma encountered by plastic surgery. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of various preoperative risk factors on postoperative wound healing complications after paraspinous muscle flap reconstruction of midline back defects. An Institutional Review Board-approved, 11-year, retrospective, office and hospital chart review was conducted. All adult patients who underwent paraspinous muscle flap reconstruction during the study period were included. There were 92 patients in the study, representing the largest reported series to-date for the paraspinous muscle flap procedure. Mean follow-up was 120 days. Several wound-healing risk factors were present in this patient population: 72% were malnourished, 41% had hypertension, 37% were obese, 34% had a history of smoking, 32% had diabetes, 16% were on chronic steroids, 14% had a history of more than 2 previous spine surgeries, and 9% had a history of radiation to the wound area. Factors significantly (P < 0.05) associated with postreconstruction wound complications included history of traumatic spine injury, prereconstruction hardware removal, a history of more than 2 spine surgeries, hypertension, and lumbar wound location. This patient population possesses multiple comorbidities making complex wound healing difficult. Several specific risk factors are associated with an increased rate of postreconstruction wound complications after paraspinous muscle flaps. The paraspinous muscle flap remains an important tool for spinal wound reconstruction in the reconstructive surgeon's armamentarium.

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