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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2006;59(9):994-8. Epub 2006 May 2.

Free functional rectus femoris muscle transfer for restoration of knee extension and defect coverage after trauma.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


In March of 2000 and May of 2002, two patients underwent restoration of knee extension with a free neurovascular rectus femoris flap. The female patient was 10 years and the male patient 19 years old. Both patients sustained a complex trauma of the thigh with fracture of the femur and posttraumatic loss of quadriceps femoris muscles. Follow up of the patients was 51 and 27 months. After 8 months reinnervation were detected by Electromyography (EMG) in both patients and contraction became visible 2 months later. The female patient obtained a good and the male patient a very good functional result. Both patients were able to walk unaided. The authors concluded that free functional rectus femoris transfer can obtain excellent results in treating knee extension and soft-tissue defect due to trauma and loss of the quadriceps femoris muscles.

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