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Research Article| Volume 46, ISSUE 6, P470-479, 1993

The anatomic basis and clinical applications of flaps based on the posterior tibial vessels

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      Summary

      The vascular anatomy of the posterior tibial vessels has been studied in 20 legs of 10 cadavers. The number, size and distribution of the direct cutaneous and direct muscle branches of the posterior tibial vessels were recorded. For analysis, the leg was divided into four equal segments, Zone I being the most distal and Zone IV the most proximal. The direct cutaneous branches were found to cluster mainly around Zone II. The direct muscle branches to the soleus and flexor digitorum longus muscles arose chiefly in Zones II and III. Based on this knowledge, we performed fasciocutaneous, island soleus muscle, musculo-fasciocutaneous and flexor digitorum longus muscle flaps based on the posterior tibial vessels in 12 patients. Four were free fasciocutaneous flaps and eight were pedicled flaps. All flaps survived and there were no major complications. Delayed wound healing was encountered in three patients.

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