Defects of the skin and soft tissue in the region of the lateral malleolus of the ankle and the Achilles tendon, resulting in exposed bone, tendons, or osteosynthetic material, cannot be covered with free skin transplants. Local or free flaps must be employed. The authors present the construction of a peroneus brevis muscle flap with a distal pedicle as a useful alternative. Between 1993 and 1999, distal pedicled peroneus brevis muscle flaps were used in 19 patients with various types of defects. During construction of the flap, both the long peroneal muscle and the peroneal artery remained intact. In the region of the distal third of the fibula, consistently arranged branches run from the artery into the muscle, and these form the distal pedicle. The proximal portion of the muscle can be transposed distally and easily extends to the tip of the fibula and the attachment of the Achilles tendon to the calcaneus. Primary healing occurred in 16 patients undergoing flap construction. Donor-site morbidity was mostly limited to the donor-site scar. The distally pedicled peroneus brevis muscle flap is a reliable means for covering defects in the lower leg. This form of muscle flap has not yet been described in the known literature. In the authors' opinion, this flap constitutes a logical and valuable extension of local flap procedures for plastic surgery in the distal leg region. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 107: 1443, 2001.)
From the Division of Plastic and Hand Surgery, St. Agatha Hospital. Received for publication January 19, 2000; revised August 2, 2000.
Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the German Plastic Surgeons in Bochum, Germany, September 11, 1998.
Serdar Eren, M.D.
St. Agatha Hospital
50735 Koeln, Germany