Increasing the success of reverse sural flap from proximal part of posterior calf for traumatic foot and ankle reconstruction: Patient selection and surgical refinement

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In this report, we present our experience on the use of the reverse sural flap for traumatic foot and ankle reconstruction. The patient selection and surgical refinement are discussed. From 2007 to 2010, 11 consecutive patients underwent modified reverse sural flap at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The defects were located at the ankle (three cases), foot (two cases), and heel (six cases). Particular attention was paid to precise patient selection and surgical refinements. Patient selection was based on the lower limb vascular status by palpable distal pedal pulses and ankle brachial index ranging from 0.9 to 1.2. Surgical techniques were refined as precisely locating the perforators of peroneal artery, placing the skin paddle in upper third of leg for a distal region coverage, designing a 7-cm-wide adipofascial pedicle with a 2 cm skin paddle on it, preserving the mesentery structure of sural nerve and concomitant artery with or without including gastrocnemius muscles cuff, no tunneling when inset this flap and supercharging with lesser saphenous vein whenever needed. All the flaps survived completely. Only one patient required immediate anastomosis of lesser saphenous vein to local vein around defect in order to relieve the venous congestion during operation. Patients felt diminished but adequate recovery of sense of touch and temperature at the flap. Following the precise patient selection and surgical refinements, the modified reverse sural flap seemed to be a reliable and effective local flap for reconstruction of the soft tissue defects on ankle and foot. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 33:342–349, 2013.

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