The reverse sural artery fasciomusculocutaneous flap for small lower-limb defects: the use of the gastrocnemius muscle cuff as a plug for small bony defects following debridement of infected/necrotic bone.
The reverse sural artery fasciomusculocutaneous flap is a modification of the original fasciocutaneous flap in which a midline gastrocnemius muscle cuff around the buried sural pedicle is included in the flap. This modification was done to improve the blood supply of the distal part of the flap, which is harvested from the upper leg. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that there is another important advantage of the modified flap: the use of the muscle cuff as a "plug" for small lower limb defects following debridement of infected/necrotic bone. A total of 10 male adult patients with small complex lower-limb defects with underlying bone pathology were treated with the modified flap using the muscle component to fill up the small bony defects. The bony pathology included necrotic exposed bone without evidence of osteomyelitis or wound infection (n = 1), an underlying neglected tibial fracture with wound infection (n = 4), and a sinus at the heel with underlying calcaneal osteomyelitis (n = 5). Primary wound healing of the flap into the defect was noted in all patients. No recurrence of calcaneal osteomyelitis was seen and all tibial fractures united following appropriate orthopedic fixation. It was concluded that the reverse sural artery fasciomusculocutaneous flap is well suited for small complex lower-limb defects with underlying bone pathology.