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Microsurgery. 2008;28(8):663-70. doi: 10.1002/micr.20557.

Peroneal artery perforator-based propeller flap reconstruction of the lateral distal lower extremity after tumor extirpation: case report and literature review.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



Soft tissue defects in the distal lower extremity present a formidable challenge due to the lack of reliable local flap options. Pedicled adipofasciocutaneous flaps provide the closest match to local tissues, but random pattern flaps are limited in reliability, size, reach, and arc-of-rotation. One hundred and eighty degree perforator-based propeller flaps are an innovative option because they provide robust axial perfusion to flaps with significantly greater surface area and ease of transposition versus that provided by their random pattern counterparts in these anatomic regions traditionally addressed with free tissue transfer.


We present a rare case of aggressive digital papillary carcinoma of the posteriolateral ankle and Achilles region. Wide local excision resulted in a defect with Achilles tendon exposure and denudation. A fasciocutaneous propeller flap based on a dominant peroneal artery perforator was raised and rotated 180 degrees to resurface the wound, providing a gliding surface for Achilles tendon function. The reconstruction was successful with no complications, excellent contour, and esthetic appearance.


Peroneal perforator-based propeller flaps in the ankle region are useful local options providing unparalleled form and function, with excellent surface area and mobility, for dynamic areas of the lower extremity, without sacrificing any major vessels or nerves. This technique adds to the reconstructive microsurgeon's armamentarium for complex coverage of the ankle region.

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