[Anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap for repair of open Achilles tendon defect].

Zhongguo xiu fu chong jian wai ke za zhi = Zhongguo xiufu chongjian waike zazhi = Chinese journal of reparative and reconstructive surgery

PubMedID: 23167105

Tang J, Gan G, Luo P, Huang Y. [Anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap for repair of open Achilles tendon defect]. Zhongguo Xiu Fu Chong Jian Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2012;26(10):1209-12.
OBJECTIVE
To explore the effectiveness of anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap for repair of skin and soft tissue defect and simultaneous Achilles tendon reconstruction with modified methods of ilio-tibial bundle suture.

METHODS
Between October 2009 and June 2011, 10 cases of Achilles tendon and soft tissue defects were treated. There were 7 males and 3 females, aged from 5 to 60 years (median, 40 years). Injury was caused by spoke in 5 cases, by heavy pound in 3 cases, and by traffic accident in 2 cases. The time between injury and admission was 2-24 hours (mean, 8 hours). The size of wound ranged from 11 cm x 7 cm to 18 cm x 10 cm; the length of Achilles tendon defect was 4-10 cm (mean, 7 cm). Three cases complicated by calcaneal tuberosity defect. After admission, emergency debridement and vacuum sealing drainage were performed for 5-7 days, anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap transplantation of 11 cm x 7 cm to 20 cm x 12 cm was used to repair skin and soft tissue defects, and improved method of ilio-tibial bundle suture was used to reconstruct Achilles tendon. The flap donor site was closed directly or repaired with skin grafting to repair.

RESULTS
All flaps and the graft skin at donor site survived, healing of wounds by first intention was obtained. All patients were followed up 6-18 months (mean, 10 months). The flap was soft and flexible; the flap had slight encumbrance in 3 cases, and the others had good appearance. At last follow-up, two-point discrimination was 2-4 cm (mean, 3 cm). The patients were able to walk normally. The range of motion (ROM) of affected side was (24.40 +/- 2.17) degrees extension and (44.00 +/- 1.94) degrees flexion, showing no significant difference when compared with ROM of normal side [(25.90 +/- 2.33) degrees and (45.60 +/- 1.84)degrees] (t = 1.591, P = 0.129; t = 1.735, P = 0.100). According to Arner-Lindhoim assessment method for ankle joint function, all the patients obtained excellent results.

CONCLUSION
A combination of anterolateral thigh fasciocutaneous flap for repair of skin and soft tissue defects and simultaneous Achilles tendon reconstruction with modified methods of ilio-tibial bundle suture is beneficial to function recovery of the ankle joint because early function exercises can be done.