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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2013, Article ID 451594, 4 pages
Case Report

An Alternative Technique for Surgical Management of Poststernotomy Osteomyelitis and Reconstruction of the Sternal Defect

1Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Craniofacial Surgery, Health Science Center, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN 38163, USA
2Department of Plastic Surgery, Medical School, Athens University, 106 76 Athens, Greece
3Second Department of Propaedeutic Surgery, Medical School, Athens University, 106 76 Athens, Greece

Received 10 January 2013; Accepted 7 February 2013

Academic Editors: F.-M. Haecker and D. Mantas

Copyright © 2013 Petros Konofaos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Sternal osteomyelitis with or without mediastinal infection is a severe and rare complication of median sternotomy. In this paper, an alternative technique for the reconstruction of sternal defects with the use of bilateral pectoralis major pedicled muscle flaps is presented. Case presentation. A 70-year-old man with the diagnosis of poststernotomy osteomyelitis underwent reconstruction of his sternal defect with the use of bilateral pectoralis major muscle flaps. The patient had an uneventful recovery, and the physical examination revealed a normal range of motion for both upper limbs and sternal stability. Conclusion. The proposed technique incorporates a simple mobilization of the two pectoralis major muscles to be used as flaps to fill the sternal defect without the need for humeral detachment or a second cutaneous incision. Using this technique, a muscular implant is made that seals the dead space, which has no tension due to the presence of a second layer. Postoperative results are excellent, not only regarding infection and functionality but also from an aesthetic point of view.