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Journal: Microsurgery


Complete circumferential degloving injury of the digits usually results in a large cutaneous defect with tendinous structure and bone and joint exposure. When revascularization is not possible, a thin and adequately sized flap is required to resurface the defect, restore finger function, and prevent amputation. In this report, we present our experience with reconstruction of the entire circumferential degloving injury of the digits using free fasciocutaneous flaps. Between February 2006 and January 2011, 9 male patients with circumferential degloving injury of 9 digits underwent reconstruction using free fasciocutaneous flap transfer with the posterior interosseous artery flap, medial sural artery flap, anteromedial thigh flap, or radial forearm flap. The average flap size was 14.2 × 6.9 cm. Donor sites were closed primarily or covered with split-thickness skin graft. All flaps survived completely and the donor sites healed without complications. The mean follow-up period was 34.8 months. A maximum Kapandji score (10/10) was seen in 2 cases with crushed thumbs. All patients could achieve good key pinch and grasping functions. All skin flaps showed acceptable static 2-point discrimination and adequate protective sensation. Patient satisfaction for resurfaced digits averaged 9 on a 10-points visual analogic scale. In conclusion, the free fasciocutaneous flaps used were thin and did not interfere with finger movements. The patient’s finger formed a smooth contour and acceptable functional results were obtained after reconstruction. This method may be a valuable alternative for reconstruction of entire circumferential avulsion injury of the digits. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2012.

Concepts: Finger, Patient, Avulsion injury, Arteries of the upper limb, Skin, Flap, Injuries, Forearm


Bone nonunion in the pediatric population usually occurs in the context of highly unfavorable biological conditions. Recently, the vascularized fibular periosteal flap has been reported as a very effective procedure for treating this condition. Even though a vascularized tibial periosteal graft (VTPG) was described long ago and has been successfully employed in one adult case, there has been no other report published on the use of this technique. We report on the use of VTPG, pedicled in the anterior tibial vessels, for the treatment of two complex pediatric bone nonunion case: a recalcitrant supracondylar femoral pseudarthrosis secondary to an infection in an 11-year-old girl, and a tibial nonunion secondary to a failed bone defect reconstruction in a 12-year-old girl. Rapid healing was obtained in both cases. In the light of the data presented, we consider VTPG as a valuable surgical option for the treatment of complex bone nonunions in children. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2014.

Concepts: Surgery, Complex analysis, Report, Nonunion, Case, Anterior tibial artery, Fibular artery, Popliteal artery


Limited information is available about the anatomical feasibility and clinical applications of flaps based on distal divisions of the superficial temporal artery (STA). The aim of this study was to investigate the anatomy of the STA, focusing on the number and reliability of distal branches and to show representative cases for the use of such flaps for zygomatic, parieto-frontal and occipital reconstructions.

Concepts: Human anatomy, Superficial temporal artery, Anatomy, Temple, External carotid artery, Scalp


Clinical outcomes of consecutive use of the lateral calcaneal artery (LCA) as a recipient vessel for microsurgical reconstruction have not been reported. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of the LCA as a recipient vessel for microsurgical foot reconstruction based on anatomical study of CT angiography and clinical results of using this vessel as the recipient.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Calcaneus, Foot


Thin women have not traditionally been considered ideal candidates for autologous breast reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap reconstruction in thin women undergoing immediate unilateral breast reconstruction. A retrospective review of 1,040 consecutive patients was performed. In total, 381 patients met the inclusion criteria. To improve clinical interpretability, patients were divided into three groups based on body mass index: “thin” (BMI ≤ 22.99), “traditional” (>23 and ≤29.99), and “obese” (BMI >30) candidates. Flap characteristics were compared to mastectomy weights, and postoperative complications were analyzed. In all groups, flap size was generally more than sufficient to match the mastectomy specimen, as flap weight:mastectomy weight ratio ws greater than 1 in all groups with no significant difference between groups (1.1 in thin patients, 1.0 in traditional patients, and 1.0 in obese patients). Fat necrosis prevalence was lowest in the thin group (12.5%), compared to the traditional (15.9%, P = 0.443) or obese (14.4%, P = 0.698) groups. Prevalence of breast infection were lower in the thin patients (5.2%) versus the traditional (8.7%, P = 0.287) or obese (14.4%, P = 0.033). Abdominal wound healing complications and seroma were also lowest in thin patients. DIEP flap breast reconstruction may be an effective method for unilateral breast reconstruction in thin patients, with sufficient flap weights and lower incidence of complications than in heavier patients. As such, low BMI may not present a barrier in the reconstruction of a breast mound matching native breast size. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2015.

Concepts: Plastic surgery, Breast cancer, Obesity, Mass, Cancer, Breast reconstruction, Breast, Body mass index


Compound anterolateral thigh flaps are popular for three-dimensional reconstruction of complex soft tissue defects. We present our 10-year experience using compound vastus lateralis (VL) muscle and anterolateral thigh musculocutaneous perforator (ALTP) flaps, and introduce three versatile customizations of this flap for individualized reconstruction of complex three-dimensional soft tissue defects.


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic, posttraumatic condition defined by severe pain and sensorimotor dysfunction. In cases of severe CRPS, patients request amputation, which may cause phantom limb pain (PLP) and residual limb pain (RLP). Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) reduces the risk of PLP and RLP. This report describes the use of TMR at the time of amputation in a series of patients with CRPS.


When costal graft is contraindicated or refused by the patient, autologous total/subtotal auricular reconstruction represent a real challenge as limited surgical options has been described. Aim of present report is to offer a novel possible autologous reconstruction of the ear frame using a chimeric free medial femoral condyle (MFC) flap. We present a case of a 29 years old patient who had total loss of the upper 2/3 of the right ear after bombing in Somalia and secondary infected condritis (considered a relative contraindication for costal cartilage graft). The MFC flap was harvested with a chimeric skin paddle (7 × 5 cm), a thin sheet of femoral cortex (6.5 × 8 cm) was used as basal ear frame, while part of the contralateral concha was trimmed as support for the helix, with the periosteal component of the flap wrapping around the whole framework. The chimeric skin paddle assured the retroauricular skin coverage, while the anterior part of the construct was covered by a thinned dermal flap. Postoperative course was uneventful. A defatting procedure of the posterior skin paddle was performed at 2 months post-op. At 6 months post-op, the patient was satisfied with the result, could wear glasses and was socially integrated. This new application of the free chimeric MFC flap, despite being not the primary choice for ear reconstruction, guaranteed satisfactory results in terms of ear shape and infection prevention and may be considered when ordinary cartilage rib reconstruction is refused, contraindicated, or failed.


Significant evolution has been made concerning resuscitation and emergency management of severely burned patients, and nowadays most patients will survive and deal with burns sequelae. They constitute a reconstructive challenge, mainly because options and donor areas are frequently compromised, results are often limited, and other options should then be considered. A 27-year-old male patient with 55% total burn surface area, presented with severe facial disfigurement including ectropion, upper/lower lip retraction, and partial loss of the nose. In order to improve the patient’s condition, autologous reconstruction was considered. The only unburned area in the body was the left dorsal region, and a three-stage reconstruction was planned using a paraescapular flap. In a first stage, an elective surgery was performed to identify and tag the recipient vessels in the neck. After 3 months, the prelamination process was initiated with the drawing of a facial model, and a nose and lips were opened inside the flap. This was based on a three-dimensional latex model as a print of the patient’s face, which allowed us to calculate distances and estimate the length of the vascular pedicles. After 3 months, the flap (18 × 8 cm) was transferred and microvascular anastomoses were performed. No major complications were seen after surgeries, and after 28 months, an extremely important functional gain was obtained. Despite the number of surgeries required and less than optimal aesthetic results, this method may offer a satisfactory solution for complex acquired facial burn sequelae when other local or distant flap options are not available.


Peroneal nerve palsy with resultant foot drop has significant impacts on gait and quality of life. Traditional management includes ankle-foot-orthosis, tendon transfer, and arthrodesis-each with certain disadvantages. While nerve transfers for peroneal nerve injury have been reported in adults, with variable results, they have not been described in the pediatric population. We report the use of partial tibial nerve transfer for foot drop from deep peroneal nerve palsy in three pediatric patients. The first sustained a partial common peroneal nerve laceration and underwent transfer of a single tibial nerve branch to deep peroneal nerve 7 months after injury. Robust extensor hallucis longus and extensor digitorum longus reinnervation was obtained without satisfactory tibialis anterior function. The next patient sustained a thigh laceration with partial sciatic nerve injury and underwent transfer of two tibial nerve branches directly to the tibialis anterior component of deep peroneal nerve 9 months after injury. The final patient sustained a blast injury to the posterior knee and similarly underwent a double fascicular transfer directly to tibialis anterior 4 months after injury. The latter two patients obtained sufficient strength (MRC 4-5) at 1 year to discontinue orthosis. In all patients, we used flexor hallucis longus and/or flexor digitorum longus branches as donors without postoperative loss of toe flexion. Overall, our experience suggests that early double fascicular transfer to an isolated tibialis anterior target, combined with decompression, could produce robust innervation. Further study and collaboration are needed to devise new ways to treat lower extremity nerve palsies.