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Microsurgery. 2002;22(7):295-9.

Replantation of a crush amputation of distal tibia followed by lengthening with Ilizarov circular external fixator: two-year follow-up.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.


A 20-year-old male sustained a severe crush injury to his left leg, resulting in amputation of the foot at the level of the distal tibia. Despite 12-h warm ischemia, replantation was attempted after radical debridement, bone shortening, and proximal fasciotomies. The replanted part survived totally. Four months later, a 13-cm shortness of the extremity was managed by 10-cm lengthening with distraction osteogenesis, using Ilizarov's circular external fixator and by means of a special shoe. Two-year follow-up of the patient revealed acceptable functional and sensorial recovery. Success of replantation despite the excessive warm-ischemia time was attributed to the sparse muscle content of the distal tibia and foot. Fasciotomies performed on the proximal segment of the leg ensured the patency of anastomoses by maintaining adequate blood flow distally despite increasing edema after the crush injury. Debridement and bone shortening at the proximal stump eliminated the vein and nerve grafts to bridge the gap. In conclusion, considering the functional outcome of our case, replantation of distal parts of a lower extremity should be attempted first, even if the nature of the injury is unfavorable and the ischemia time is longer than the documented ischemia-tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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