Osteocutaneous Pedicle Flap Transfer for Salvage of Transtibial Amputation After Severe Lower-Extremity Injury

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A conventional transtibial amputation may not be possible when the zone of injury involves the proximal part of the tibia, or in cases of massive tibial bone and/or soft-tissue loss. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of salvage of a transtibial amputation level with a rotational osteocutaneous pedicle flap from the ipsilateral hindfoot.


Fourteen patients who had an osteocutaneous pedicle flap from the ipsilateral foot were included in the study. Twelve patients were followed for more than twenty-four months (mean, 60.2 months) and were evaluated with use of the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (MFA), and a 100-ft (30.48-m) timed walking test.


There were ten men and four women with mean age of 43.2 years. Thirteen patients had a type-IIIB open tibial fracture, and one had extensive soft-tissue loss secondary to a burn. Four patients were treated for infection after the index procedure. There were no nonunions of the tibia to the calcaneus. Three patients underwent late reconstructive procedures to improve prosthetic fit. No patient required subsequent revision to a more proximal amputation level. Mean knee flexion was 139°.


A novel technique has been developed to salvage a transtibial amputation level with use of a rotational osteocutaneous flap from the hindfoot. In the absence of adequate tibial length and/or soft-tissue coverage to salvage the entire limb or to perform a conventional-length transtibial amputation, this technique is a highly functional alternative that does not require microvascular free tissue transfer.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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