Open-book Splitting of a Distally Based Peroneus Brevis Muscle Flap to Cover Large Leg and Ankle Defects

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Abstract

Background:

Large soft-tissue defects in the lower leg and ankle are a major problem for plastic surgeons. Many local flaps that are either proximally or distally based have been previously described to cover small defects. Larger defects may require a distant flap that is either pedicled or free. The peroneus brevis muscle flap is a well-known distally based safe flap that is used to cover a small defect.

Methods:

Ten distally based peroneus brevis muscle flaps were elevated in 10 patients (8 males and 2 females) with major lower third leg and ankle defects that were 6–12 cm in length and 6–10 cm in width, with open-book splitting of the proximal portion of the muscle to cover these large defects.

Results:

Flap survival was excellent, and partial skin graft loss in two cases healed with dressing. The average flap length was 10 cm, ranging between 6 and 12 cm. The average flap width was 8 cm, ranging between 6 and 10 cm. The donor site also healed uneventful.

Conclusions:

Open-book splitting of the distally based peroneus brevis muscle flap is ideally suited for moderate to large defects in the distal third of the lower leg and ankle. This modification of the distally based peroneus brevis muscle flap offers a convincing alternative for covering large defects of up to 12 × 10 cm in the distal leg and ankle region.

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