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Lin Chih-Hung MD; Wei, Fu-Chan MD; Chen, Chien-Chung MD; Wu, Wu-Chang MD
Annals of Plastic Surgery: December 1997
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A lower leg open fracture with an accompanying extensive soft-tissue defect may require free flap transfer to resurface the wound. In open-leg fracture injuries the major arteries are frequently damaged during the injurious event. When the antegrade arterial blood flow is not available for arterial inflow to the free flap, end-to-side arterial anastomoses or a venous graft from a proximal healthy artery is an appropriate solution. Reversed arterial flow is another technique that may be used to provide arterial inflow to the free flap. We report 5 patients with open tibial fracture injuries that were successfully covered using latissimus dorsi muscle free flaps with reverse arterial inflow and either antegrade venous outflow (4 patients) or retrograde outflow (1 patient). This technique is Indicated when (1) the defect is not located at the site adjacent to the residual antegrade artery, (2) a long vein graft might pass through severely scarred soft tissue, or (3) after failure in end-to-side anastomosis with accompanying insufficient antegrade proximal arterial flow but good distal arterial reflux.

© Williams & Wilkins 1997. All Rights Reserved.