Free-flap coverage of the Exposed Achilles tendon.

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Plastic and reconstructive surgery, Vol: 83, Issue: 4, Page: 710-716

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Hallock, Geoffrey G, MD
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Diabetes Mellitus; Type 2; Female; Humans; Leg; Leg Injuries; Leg Ulcer; Male; Middle Aged; Muscles; Skin Transplantation; Surgical Flaps; Tendons; Other Medical Specialties; Surgery
article description
Posterior skin loss of the distal lower leg enhances the risk of exposure of the Achilles tendon. Most commonly, these wounds are a sequela to peripheral vascular insufficiency or else posttraumatic in origin. As a consequence, local flaps or skin grafts frequently are inadequate options for achieving coverage. Free-tissue transfers have proven to be a reasonable alternative in these situations for preservation of tendon function or even limb salvage. In this series of 12 patients, small defects were best covered with fasciocutaneous flaps, whereas the larger and usually chronic, concomitantly suppurating wounds required muscle flaps. Eighty-three percent (10 of 12) of patients remained ambulatory with healed wounds, obviating the need for extremity amputation.