Aj Institute Of Medical Science And Aj Hospital & Research Center

Mangalore, India

Aj Institute Of Medical Science And Aj Hospital & Research Center

Mangalore, India

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PubMed | Aj Institute Of Medical Science And Aj Hospital & Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of reconstructive microsurgery | Year: 2016

BackgroundPlantar, neuropathic, or trophic ulcers are often found in patients with decreased sensation in the foot. These ulcers can be complicated by infection, deformity, and increased patient morbidity. Excision results in wider defects and local tissues are often insufficient for reconstruction MethodsTotal 26 free flaps were used in 25 patients to reconstruct plantar ulcers between years 2007 and 2013. The etiology included diabetic neuropathy (n=13), leprosy (n=3), spinal/peripheral nerve injury (n=7), spina bifida (n=1), and peripheral neuropathy (n=1). The duration of the ulcer ranged from 1 to 18 years. Fifteen patients had associated systemic comorbidities and six had previous attempts. Free flaps used in reconstruction were the anterolateral thigh flap (n=18), radial artery forearm flap (n=4), and the gracilis muscle flap (n=4). Recipient vessels were the posterior tibial artery (end to side) in 19 and the dorsalis pedis artery in 7. ResultsThe average age at presentation was 44.6 years with mean duration of ulcer of 5.8 years predominantly located over weight-bearing areas. Mean size of ulcer was 59.45 cm(2) and mean follow-up period was 48 months. All flaps survived except a partial loss. Average time to resume ambulation was 6 weeks. Three patients had recurrence with mean follow-up of 48 months. Secondary flap reduction and bony resection was done in four. ConclusionMicrovascular reconstruction of the sole has advantages of vascularity, adequate tissue, and leaving rest of the foot undisturbed for offloading. Three significant local conditions influencing selection and transfer of the flap include (1) distally located forefoot ulcers, (2) extensive subcutaneous fibrosis secondary to frequent inflammation, and (3) Charcot arthropathy. In our series, the anterolateral thigh flap is our first choice for reconstruction of these defects.

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