Inferior Limb Salvage by Combined Free-tissue Transfer and the Crane Principle Revisited

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Aggressive treatment of ischemia of the lower extremities has decreased the number of amputations in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients; combined vascular reconstruction and microvascular free-flap transfer has been used to improve distal perfusion and cover large tissue defects caused by the critical limb ischemia during the past 30 years. We present our experience with a 71-year-old diabetic patient who underwent revascularization with a vascular bypass and a simultaneous microvascular flap reconstruction for limb salvage after domestic trauma. An extension of the “crane” principle was used to solve bypass exposure due to wound late complication. After 1-year follow-up, the patient was able to walk without pain. Combining 3 well-established methods of arterial revascularization and free-flap transfer and the old “crane principle,” we achieved limb salvage, offering an alternative to below-knee amputation.

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