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PLOS ONE  2013 

Extended Anterolateral Thigh Flaps for Reconstruction of Extensive Defects of the Foot and Ankle

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083696

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The anterolateral thigh flap has been used for coverage of defects in the foot and ankle for years. Conventional extended anterolateral thigh flaps do not undergo thinning procedures, which limit their application. Here, a clinical series of 24 patients is reported in which extended anterolateral thigh flaps were used for posttraumatic foot and ankle reconstruction. Of the 24 flaps, 14 were simple extended anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flaps and 10 were thinned extended anterolateral thigh flaps. One artery and two veins, including a superficial vein and an accompanying vein, were anastomosed to vascularize each flap. Follow-up of the 24 patients ranged from 10 months to 4 years postoperatively. All 24 flaps survived successfully, except one case that had partial flap necrosis distally due to excessive thinning. The cutaneous flap territory ranged from 250 cm2 to 400 cm2 (mean, 297 cm2). Only one patient received a debulking procedure. No ulceration occurred in any of the flaps due to contact with the shoe. The extended anterolateral thigh flap is a good alternative for extensive soft tissue defects of the foot and ankle. This study also supports the high reliability and excellent vascular supply of moderate thinned extended ALT flaps.


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