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Is the Anterolateral Thigh Flap the Solution for Orthopedic Trauma Complication Reconstructions?: A Case Series

Kaan GürbüzKayseri City Education and Research Hospital, Kocasinan, Kayseri, Turkey.

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 PhD, MD
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Fatih Doğar
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Yalçın Yontar
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The anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap, which can be applied as a free or pedicled flap, is supplied by musculocutaneous or septocutaneous perforators belonging to the descending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery. Because local or regional flap options that can be used for the reconstruction of large tissue losses in the distal third of the tibia and foot are limited, ALT and other free flaps are frequently used when needed. The aim of this report is to present our experience with and clinical results of free ALT flaps in a tertiary health-care institution. Between June of 2017 and April of 2020, lower extremity reconstruction with free ALT flaps was performed in seven patients. In the preoperative period, dominant perforators were determined in each patient by Doppler ultrasonography, and surgery was planned considering the size and localization of the defect. All the patients were men, with an average age of 41.7 years. Three patients were operated on for implant exposition on the distal-medial third of the tibia after fracture repair, one patient for posttraumatic calcaneal deformity with osteomyelitis, and two patients because of localized posttraumatic tissue loss in the anterior aspect of the tibia and one patient in the dorsum of the foot. Secondary recovery was achieved in two patients and localized linear necrosis was observed at the flap suture line. No infection was observed in the donor or recipient site. In all patients, the donor site was closed primarily and no wound healing problem was encountered. This is one of the primary reconstruction options for the free ALT flap, especially in cases of large tissue losses in which local and/or regional flap alternatives are insufficient.

Corresponding author: Kaan Gürbüz, MD, Kayseri City Education and Research Hospital, Şeker Mah Molu Cad, Kocasinan, Kayseri 38080, Turkey. (E-mail: drkagangurbuz@gmail.com)