Fractures of the lower leg with soft-tissue loss may be complicated by osteomyelitis. Many treatment plans offered in the past have included the use of vascularized bone, but the soft tissue that accompanied the bone was sometimes less than ideal in quality as well as quantity. This study presents a one-step method for the surgical treatment of chronic, posttraumatic osteomyelitis that includes (1) radical debridement of the area affected by osteomyelitis, (2) use of revascularized bone for stabilization of the affected area, and (3) well-vascularized soft-tissue cover for the defect. The use of an osteomuscular latissimus dorsi scapula flap is described and illustrated by descriptions of five operations performed by the authors' department in Salzburg, Austria. The resultant healing of the bone was comparable to the primary healing of a fracture. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 107: 1430, 2001.)
From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brueder, and St. Johannis Landeskrankenanstalten Salzburg. Received for publication March 13, 2000; revised July 24, 2000.
Christoph Papp, M.D.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Krankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brueder
©2001American Society of Plastic Surgeons