Proximal-Based Saphenous Neurocutaneous Flaps: A Novel Tool for Reconstructive Surgery in the Proximal Lower Leg and Knee

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Abstract

Background

Soft tissue defects around the knee region are usually complex and require adequate reconstruction with flaps. In this article, we present our experience using the proximal-based saphenous neurocutaneous flap for the reconstruction of soft tissue defects around the knee and the proximal lower leg.

Methods

Between 2008 and 2010, 17 patients with soft tissue defects around the knee and the proximal lower leg were treated with proximal-based saphenous neurocutaneous flaps. The age of patients ranged from 19 to 61 years (mean 35.6 years). Defect sizes ranged from 3 cm × 4 cm to 9 cm × 18 cm and the flaps were designed with sizes ranging from 3 cm × 5 cm to 11 cm × 20 cm. The mean follow-up was 16 months (range 8 to 26 months).

Results

Sixteen flaps survived completely, and one flap developed partial necrosis. Mild swelling was observed within a few days postoperatively, and no severe venous congestion occurred. The skin grafts in the donor sites survived completely. All of the 17 flaps gained a good sensory recovery, and only 2 patients complained of numbness on the grafted donor-site during extended follow-up.

Conclusion

Our experience has demonstrated that the proximal-based saphenous neurocutaneous flap is a safe and reliable tool for reconstruction of the defects around the proximal lower leg and knee.

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