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Ann Plast Surg. 2013 Oct;71(4):398-401. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31824e29de.

Vastus lateralis flap reconstruction after girdlestone arthroplasty: thirteen consecutive cases and outcomes.

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  • 1From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pressure ulcers are found in approximately 4.7% of hospitalized populations. Up to 12.3% of hospitalized populations are at risk for developing these wounds. Decubitus ulcers are more common among the inpatient spinal cord injury group, with prevalence rates up to 30%. Surgical intervention is required when bone or the hip joint becomes involved. Girdlestone arthroplasty is a procedure that excises affected proximal femur and acetabular tissues; however, this resection typically results in a sizeable defect. The vastus lateralis flap has been extensively reviewed as a soft tissue filler option for this deficit.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Thirteen consecutive cases from a single institution using the vastus lateralis muscle flap reconstruction after Girdlestone arthroplasty were reviewed. A search of internal records identified 11 patients with 13 vastus lateralis flap reconstructions performed immediately after Girdlestone arthroplasty for stage 4 ulcers or chronic, infected wounds affecting the hip joint. All patients involved were subjected to a similar standardized post-procedure activity schedule. Complications were defined as minor (superficial wound breakdown) or major (requiring further operative procedures to close the wound).

RESULTS:

The majority of patients were male (91%) with a mean age of 43 years at the time of the procedure. All wounds involved the hip joint proper. Ninety-one percent of the patients had a history of spinal cord deficits. Thirty-one percent of the flaps had minor, superficial wound breakdown. Another 31% of the reconstructions required an additional operative procedure for major wound complications. One patient's wound was from multiple prior failed hip replacements. He eventually became ambulatory using a walker after reconstruction. Ultimately, 69% of the flaps healed satisfactorily without the need for further operative intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

Surgical debridement is required for chronic wounds involving the proximal femur, acetabulum, and hip joint. This review demonstrates that the use of a single-stage procedure including Girdlestone arthroplasty with immediate vastus lateralis muscle flap reconstruction is a practical treatment option for chronic wounds involving the acetabular joint. The use of a postoperative protocol and subsequent sitting schedule contributed to the success of these reconstructions. Overall, this procedure is applicable to spinal cord injury/pathology patients and to failed total hip arthroplasty patients for future assisted ambulation.

PMID:
23407252
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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