Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 325-329

Experience of using local flaps to cover open lower limb injuries at an Indian trauma center

1 Departments of Orthopaedics, Unit 3, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Departments of Orthopaedics, Unit 1, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
P R Boopalan
Departments of Orthopaedics, Unit 3, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.83806

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Background : Optimal care of open, high-velocity, lower limb injury requires surgical skills in debridement, skeletal stabilization, and in providing appropriate soft tissue cover. Timely coordination between orthopedic and plastic surgeons, though ideal, is often difficult. In our center, orthopedic surgeons undertake comprehensive treatment of open fractures including soft tissue cover. We reviewed the results of the local flaps of lower limb, done by orthopedic surgeons. Materials and Methods : We retrospectively reviewed the results of the lower limb flaps done between January 2005 and December 2006. All flaps done at and below the level of knee were included. Results : There were 105 patients with 120 flaps during this period. Two patients with two flaps were lost to follow-up. The average age was 32 years. Sixty-four patients had Type IIIB Gustilo and Anderson injuries. Thirty-nine patients had isolated soft tissue injuries. The indications for flaps were exposed bone, tendon, and joint in 45, 11, and 12, respectively, or a combination in 35 patients. The flaps done were 51 reverse sural artery, 35 gastrocnemius, 25 local fasciocutaneous, and seven foot flaps. The flap dimensions ranged from 2 Χ 2 to 30 Χ 15 cm. Ninety-three flaps (79%) healed primarily. Among 25 flaps (21%) with necrosis, 14 flaps required secondary split skin graft for healing, while the other nine flaps healed without further surgery. Conclusion : Appropriate soft tissue cover provided by orthopedic surgeons can help in providing independent, composite care of lower limb injuries.

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