Bone structure is fundamental for the function of the lower limbs—orthostatism and locomotion. Before the technical evolution observed in the last two decades, many extremities that are saved now were amputated in the past. Lower limb bone defects are generally associated with complex traumatic lesions and constitute a permanent reconstructive challenge. The management of this kind of defect requires a multidisciplinary approach involving plastic and orthopedic surgeons. The bone free flaps are a very important and technically exacting tool for lower limb bone reconstruction. We present and analyze our experience in 25 traumatic cases where we used 17 fibula free flaps and 2 iliac crest free flaps for tibia and talus reconstruction; 5 fibula free flaps for femur reconstruction; and 1 antebrachial radial osteocutaneous free flap for first metatarsal reconstruction. We registered 88% of success (three flap necroses—12%) with good bone integration and good functional recovery. Lower limb bone reconstruction is a long and tortuous stair whose success depends not only on the multidisciplinary surgical team but also on the patient's cooperation and determination
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2012
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