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Cross-leg flap: Its role in limb salvage

Author(s): Agarwal Pawan | Raza HKT

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 42;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 439;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Cross-leg flap | free tissue transfer | lower limb trauma

Background: Pedicled cross-extremity flaps for lower limb wound coverage have been replaced by free tissue transfer in the last two decades. However, there are certain difficult situations where the free flap cannot be employed and alternative methods are needed. We describe our experience with cross-leg flap in 18 patients for the reconstruction of difficult leg defects in which no suitable recipient vessels were available for microvascular anastomosis in the vicinity of the defect. Materials and Methods: 18 patients (17 men and 1 woman) with mean range 31.5 yrs(range 18-70 yrs) grade III B tibial fractures were included in the study. fasciocuteneous cross leg flap was employed and extremities were immobilized by external Fixator. Results: Fifteen flaps were completely available with two had marginal necrosis and one supsficial epidermal necrosis.No complications were related to the donor site, flap, or by immobilization are noted. Each patient resumed essentially normal gait and activity without any stiffness of joints related with the flap or external fixator. Conclusion: The addition of external fixator stabilization aids greatly in wound care, as well as for general ease of the patient mobility and positioning. Cross-leg flap offers the possibility of salvaging limbs that are otherwise nonreconstructable.
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