Reconstruction of the Heel, Middle Foot Sole, and Plantar Forefoot with the Medial Plantar Artery Perforator Flap: Clinical Experience with 28 Cases

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Abstract

Background:

Defects in the weight-bearing region of the foot sole can represent a substantial restriction in quality of life and pose a challenge for reconstructive plastic surgery. The purpose of this article is to report the authors’ experience with the use of the medial plantar artery perforator flap for reconstruction of defects of the foot sole in three different regions: heel, middle foot sole, and plantar forefoot.

Methods:

From January of 2003 to May of 2016, 28 patients (13 male and 15 female patients) with an average age of 54 years (range, 12 to 84 years) underwent reconstruction with 28 medial plantar artery perforator flaps. Twenty-six flaps were harvested as pedicle perforator flaps and two as free perforator flaps. All flaps were raised from the ipsilateral instep area. The defect locations included the heel (20 cases), middle foot sole (four cases), and forefoot (four cases). The causes of reconstruction were tumors in 18 patients, decubitus in eight patients, and trauma in two patients.

Results:

The flap sizes varied from 2.5 × 2.5 cm to 5.5 × 9.5 cm. All of the flaps survived completely after surgery, apart from one. The donor sites were all covered with a split-thickness skin graft. Follow-up observations were conducted for 4 to 12 months, and all patients had good functional recovery with satisfactory cosmetic results.

Conclusion:

The medial plantar artery perforator flap can be considered an optimal method of foot sole reconstruction not only for covering the weight-bearing area of the heel but also for the middle and forefoot plantar region.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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