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Baker Gary L. M.D.; Newton, E. Douglas M.D.; Franklin, John D. M.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: January 1990

Soft-tissue deficits over the plantar forefoot, plantar heel, tendo calcaneus, and lower leg are often impossible to cover with a simple skin graft. The previously developed medial plantar fasciocutaneous island flap has been adapted to cover soft-tissue defects over these areas. This fasciocutaneous flap based on the medial plantar neuro-vascular bundle is capable of providing sensate and structurally similar local tissue. Application of this fasciocutaneous island flap is demonstrated in 12 clinical cases. Successful soft-tissue cover was achieved on the plantar calcaneus (four patients), tendo calcaneus (four patients), lower leg (two patients), and plantar forefoot (two patients). Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 5 years. All flaps were viable at follow-up. Protective sensation was present in 11 of 12 flaps evaluated at 6 months. In addition, all 11 patients were able to ambulate in normal footwear. The medial plantar island flap seems to be more durable than a skin graft, and the donor site on the non-weight-bearing instep is well tolerated. This study demonstrates that the medial plantar fasciocutaneous island flap should be considered as another valuable tool in reconstructive efforts directed at the plantar forefoot, plantar heel, posterior ankle, and lower leg.

©1990American Society of Plastic Surgeons