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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1991 Jul;88(1):115-20.

Immediate closure of traumatic upper arm and forearm injuries with the latissimus dorsi island myocutaneous pedicle flap.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington 40536-0084.


This paper reports the authors' experience with latissimus dorsi island pedicle flaps in the acute treatment of massive arm injuries. Seven patients with upper arm injuries and four patients with forearm injuries were treated with latissimus dorsi pedicle flaps. All cases involved massive soft-tissue loss and open fractures. Primary healing of wounds occurred without complications in 10 of 11 patients; the eleventh developed a wound infection. There were no instances of flap loss or vascular complications. This report compares and discusses surgical management options and details the importance of robust, immediate soft-tissue coverage for optimal functional recovery. Contrary to traditional thought, delay in definitive wound closure may be unnecessary when aggressive debridement is followed by acute flap closure.

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