Fat grafting for resurfacing an exposed implant in lower extremity: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Although numerous reconstruction protocols have been reported for lower leg trauma, those for distal leg trauma remain few. We present the case of a woman with an implant exposure wound, who was successfully treated through fat grafting, without major flap surgery.

Patient concerns:

An 83-year-old woman with an exposed implant in lower extremity received reconstruction surgery once and the surgery failed. She refused additional major surgery and negative pressure wound therapy.

Diagnoses:

The diagnosis of a tibia and fibula shaft open fracture (type IIIA) complicated with an exposed implant was made.

Interventions:

The procedure was performed by deploying purified and emulsified fat with a Micro-Autologous Fat Transplantation gun. The required lipoaspirate amount was grossly estimated using a standard formula: 0.5 cc of a lipoaspirate per square centimeter of wound. We prepared the lipoaspirate simply through centrifugation followed by physical emulsification. The endpoint of fat grafting was when lipoaspirate began to flow out of the wound. The initial dressing after the procedure included the topical usage of biomycin ointment with AQUACEL Foam (ConvaTec Inc., NC, USA) coverage, which was later changed to INTRASITE gel (Smith & Nephew, London, UK) with a gauze dressing for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, dressing components were changed to Mepilex (Mölnlycke Health Care, Gothenburg, Sweden) alone.

Outcomes:

The wound healed completely without requiring major flap surgery by 18 weeks after surgery.

Lessons:

Fat grafting is one kind of cell therapy and potentially has regenerative effects during wound healing. Fat grafting is critical in the healing processes of complicated wounds and might be considered a step in reconstruction surgery.

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