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Am Surg. 2017 Oct 1;83(10):1161-1165.

Outcomes of Soft Tissue Reconstruction for Traumatic Lower Extremity Fractures with Compromised Vascularity.

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Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Traumatic lower extremity fractures with compromised arterial flow are limb-threatening injuries. A retrospective review of 158 lower extremities with traumatic fractures, including 26 extremities with arterial injuries, was performed to determine the effects of vascular compromise on flap survival, successful limb salvage and complication rates. Patients with arterial injuries had a larger average flap surface area (255.1 vs 144.6 cm2, P = 0.02) and a greater number of operations (4.7 vs 3.8, P = 0.01) than patients without vascular compromise. Patients presenting with vascular injury were also more likely to require fasciotomy [odds ratio (OR): 6.5, confidence interval (CI): 2.3-18.2] and to have a nerve deficit (OR: 16.6, CI: 3.9-70.0), fracture of the distal third of the leg (OR: 2.9, CI: 1.15-7.1) and intracranial hemorrhage (OR: 3.84, CI: 1.1-12.9). After soft tissue reconstruction, patients with arterial injuries had a higher rate of amputation (OR: 8.5, CI: 1.3-53.6) and flap failure requiring a return to the operating room (OR: 4.5, CI: 1.5-13.2). Arterial injury did not correlate with infection or overall complication rate. In conclusion, arterial injuries resulted in significant complications for patients with lower extremity fractures requiring flap coverage, although limb salvage was still effective in most cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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