Table of Contents
Plastic Surgery International
Volume 2015, Article ID 213892, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Free Flap Transfer to Preserve Main Arterial Flow in Early Reconstruction of Open Fracture in the Lower Extremity

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kitasato University Hospital, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0374, Japan

Received 11 December 2014; Accepted 25 February 2015

Academic Editor: Nicolo Scuderi

Copyright © 2015 Mitsuru Nemoto 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.


The selection of recipient vessels is crucial when reconstructing traumatized lower extremities using a free flap. When the dorsalis pedis artery and/or posterior tibial artery cannot be palpated, we utilize computed tomography angiography to verify the site of vascular injury prior to performing free flap transfer. For vascular anastomosis, we fundamentally perform end-to-side anastomosis or flow-through anastomosis to preserve the main arterial flow. In addition, in open fracture of the lower extremity, we utilize the anterolateral thigh flap for moderate soft tissue defects and the latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap for extensive soft tissue defects. The free flaps used in these two techniques are long and include a large-caliber pedicle, and reconstruction can be performed with either the anterior or posterior tibial artery. The preparation of recipient vessels is easier during the acute phase early after injury, when there is no influence of scarring. A free flap allows flow-through anastomosis and is thus optimal for open fracture of the lower extremity that requires simultaneous reconstruction of main vessel injury and soft tissue defect from the middle to distal thirds of the lower extremity.