Defects involving the distal leg and foot are frequently encountered following various aetiological factors. Paucity of local tissue causes surgeons to resort to the retrograde peninsular flap, the cross leg flap or the free flap. With specific knowledge of perforators, the fasciocutaneous flap from the calf area can be transferred to the defect in a single stage based on skeletonised distal perforators. The surgical anatomy, flap planning and procedure have been detailed. Nineteen patients were treated during the period 1995 to 2005. The perforators were identified preoperatively by audio Doppler. The flaps were marked and dissected proximal to the defect skeletonising the distal perforators under loupe magnification and transferred to the defect in a single stage. The donor site was skin grafted. Out of 19 cases, 16 flaps healed uneventfully, one flap necrosed completely and in two cases there was marginal necrosis. The cases were followed up for 2–10 years with an average of 6 years. With detailed knowledge of perforators one can safely reconstruct distal moderate-size defects of the lower limb in a single stage, thus having the benefits of free tissue transfer without resorting to microsurgery. This technique has proved to be an advancement in the reconstructive repertoire allowing flaps of non conventional dimensions to be perfused by skeletonised perforators.
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Published online: April 02, 2007
Accepted: February 18, 2007
Received: July 7, 2006
☆Financial disclosure and products page: There are no financial or product considerations for any author of this article.
© 2007 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.