In massive burns, early excision and a free flap reconstruction is, in some cases, limb saving. From October 1979 to August 1993, eleven patients with massive burn injury in the upper extremity were treated using a free flap reconstruction. Eight cases were acute or subacute and three were late reconstructions. The following free flaps were used: rectus femoris microneurovascular musculocutaneous flap (2), latissimus dorsi flap (4), rectus abdominis flap (3), gluteal thigh flap (1), lateral arm flap (1), and serratus flap (1). The gluteal thigh flap was lost and it was later replaced by a rectus abdominis flap. In three cases successful reanastomosis was performed. Functional late reconstructions were performed in nine patients. In all eleven patients the limb was saved and functional recovery was satisfactory. We recommend that a free musculocutaneous or muscle flap is used, proximal to the wrist, if after careful excision of nonviable tissue, tendons, bone joint or major vessels are exposed. The rectus femoris musculocutaneous flap is a useful solution to restore extensor musculature of the forearm after extensive injury.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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