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Clin Orthop Surg. 2017 Sep;9(3):348-354. doi: 10.4055/cios.2017.9.3.348. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Differences between the Upper Extremity and the Lower Extremity in Reconstruction Using an Anterolateral Thigh Perforator Flap.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While reconstruction of soft tissue defects is the common purpose, surgical reconstructions of upper extremities and lower extremities have different goals in terms of functional and aesthetic outcomes. The purpose of the current study was to compare and analyze differences between reconstructions of upper extremities and lower extremities using an anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap.

METHODS:

We analyzed 74 patients who underwent reconstructions of upper extremities and lower extremities using an ALT flap from October 2006 to August 2012 (upper extremities, 45 cases; lower extremities, 29 cases). The study focused on the statistical analysis of patient satisfaction according to the donor site of the ALT flap and the timing of a debulking procedure.

RESULTS:

On the choice of donor site, in the upper extremity reconstruction, flap elevation from the opposite side of the recipient limb was preferred (p = 0.019) because it causes less inconvenience while walking. In the lower extremity reconstruction, flap elevation from the same side of the recipient limb (p = 0.002) was preferred. The debulking procedure performed on the upper extremities at 4 weeks after reconstruction led to better functional results and enhanced patient satisfaction (p = 0.022). In the case of lower extremities, enhanced satisfaction was noted in patients who underwent the procedure at 6 months after reconstruction (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Elevation of the flap in reconstruction reduced inconvenience when performed on the same side of the recipient limb for lower extremities and on the opposite side for upper extremities. In addition, debulking resulted in better satisfaction when performed 4 weeks postoperatively in the upper extremities and 6 months postoperatively in the lower extremities.

KEYWORDS:

Anterolateral thigh flap; Debulking; Upper extremity and lower extremity

PMID:
28861203
PMCID:
PMC5567031
DOI:
10.4055/cios.2017.9.3.348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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