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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Oct;62(10):1339-46. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.12.092. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Management of recurrent ischial pressure sore with gracilis muscle flap and V-Y profunda femoris artery perforator-based flap.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Inappropriate seating has been implicated as a major contributing factor in ischial pressure-sore recurrence. During their lifetime, paraplegic patients may require several flaps for closure of the same or some other adjacent pressure sore. Despite a wide variety of flap reconstruction options being described, the ischium remains the most difficult pressure-sore site to treat.


From June 1998 to July 2006, there were 253 pressure-sore patients operated upon at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. Ten patients (eight men and two women) suffered from recurrent ischial pressure sores, and all of them received more than one flap reconstruction for the ischial defect. For the treatment of the recurrent ischial pressure sore, gracilis muscle flap and readvancement of the V-Y profunda femoris artery perforator-based flap were used to fill the dead space as well as cover the defect.


Among these 10 recurrent ischial pressure-sore patients, six of them had suffered bilateral ischial ulcers. Eight of them had previous sacral pressure sores. In all, 32 flap reconstruction procedures were performed on these 10 patients. Unfortunately, one patient had recurrent grade II bilateral ischial pressure sores after 11 months of ulcer-free period. The other nine patients had no recurrence noted, and enjoyed their lives with an average 27.2 months ulcer-free period (range 9-53 months).


The fasciocutaneous flap provides a higher mechanical resistance than the detached and transposed muscle. However, for the recurrent ischial ulcer patients, readvancement of the perforator-based fasciocutaneous flap alone cannot provide adequate bulk to obliterate the 'dead space' after debridement of the bursa and the surrounding necrotic tissue. By combining the readvancement of V-Y profunda femoris artery perforator-based fasciocutaneous flap and gracilis muscle flap, these recurrent ischial ulcers will heal without complication. Recurrence of ulceration often develops despite successful flap closure. Patients and their relatives have to be educated regarding pressure relief, personal skin, and self-care. Surgeons must collaborate with the rehabilitation department, nursing staffs, and social workers to improve long-term results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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