Fibula Osteoseptocutaneous Flap for Reconstruction of Composite Mandibular Defects

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The fibula osteoseptocutaneous flap is a versatile method for reconstruction of composite-tissue defects of the mandible. The vascularized fibula can be osteotomized to permit contouring of any mandibular defect. The skin flap is reliable and can be used to resurface intraoral, extraoral, or both intraoral and extraoral defects.

Twenty-seven fibula osteoseptocutaneous flaps were used for composite mandibular reconstructions in 25 patients. All the defects were reconstructed primarily following resection of oral cancers (23), excision of radiation-induced osteonecrotic lesions (2), excision of a chronic osteomyelitic lesion (1), or postinfective mandibular hypoplasia (1). The mandibular defects were between 6 and 14 cm in length. The number of fibular osteotomy sites ranged from one to three.

All patients had associated soft-tissue losses. Six of the reconstructions had only oral lining defects, and 1 had only an external facial defect, while 18 had both lining and skin defects. Five patients used the skin portion of the fibula osteoseptocutaneous flaps for both oral lining and external facial reconstruction, while 13 patients required a second simultaneous free skin or musculocutaneous flap because of the size of the defects. Four of these flaps used the distal runoff of the peroneal pedicles as the recipient vessels.

There was one total flap failure (96.3 percent success). There were no instances of isolated partial or complete skin necrosis. All osteotomy sites healed primarily. The contour of the mandibles was good to excellent. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 93: 294, 1994.)

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