The surgical management of large defects of the Achilles tendon and overlying skin is very demanding and necessitates, as a rule, a free vascularized graft. The ideal characteristics of a thin layer of skin and a strong tendon component, combined with a reliable blood supply and minimal morbidity at the donor site, have only been partially met by all previous grafts used in this situation.
The authors performed reconstructions in five patients with large defects of the Achilles tendon and overlying skin by using a perforator flap derived from the tensor fasciae latae flap. A vascularized skin-subcutis-fascia lata flap could be raised by dissecting out two to three perforating arteries through the tensor fasciae latae muscle to the ascending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery; the muscle was left in situ in the process.
All the flaps took well without complications. At final examination after an average of 20 months, the reconstructed Achilles tendon showed good functional results, although there was a 50 to 70 percent reduction in power during plantar flexion when compared with the normal side. A very good aesthetic result could be obtained after a debulking operation was performed on the skin flap. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 106: 342, 2000.)
From the Division of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich.
Received for publication June 1, 1999;
revised October 18, 1999.
Stephan Deiler, M.D. Plastische Chirurgie und Handchirurgie Chirurgische Klinik Klinikum Innenstadt der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Nuβbaumstr. 20 D-80336 München Germany
Presented in part at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Bavarian Society of Surgery, Landshut, Germany, July 24, 1997.