Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 12, P1323-1330, December 2007

The ‘propeller’ distal anteromedial thigh perforator flap. Anatomic study and clinical applications



      The leg and peripatellar region have always been known as a poor source of available flaps. One flap donor site that has proven to be adequate is the distal anteromedial half of the thigh. Due to the potential and plentiful vascular sources of this anatomic region we decided to study the distal anteromedial thigh and its clinical applications.

      Anatomic study

      Sixteen cryopreserved inferior limbs were latex-injected in the femoral artery and the skin perforators of the distal anteromedial thigh and their source vessels were studied.

      Clinical study

      In a period between December 2000 and June 2005, skin islands from the distal anteromedial aspect of the thigh of six patients were transferred, as local perforator flaps, to reconstruct the peripatellar region and upper leg soft tissue defects. Every flap was based on a single adequate perforator vessel. The tissue was rotated, as a ‘propeller’, through 180° and the flap was named ‘the propeller distal anteromedial thigh perforator flap’.


      In the distal anteromedial thigh the anatomic variability includes not only perforator vessels but also their source vessels. Skin perforators can come from each of the deep vessels.
      Our clinical results, with a follow up of 1–4 years, show no total flap losses. Partial necrosis>20% happened in one diabetic patient.


      The propeller distal anteromedial thigh perforator flap can be reliably transferred based on only one adequate perforator vessel. It reduces the morbidity and improves the availability of the distal anteromedial thigh as a flap donor site and represents an additional reconstructive option for knee and upper leg defects.


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