Medial gastrocnemius muscle flap for treating wound complications after double-plate fixation via two-incision approach for complex tibial plateau fractures

Ying Chao Chou*, Chi Chuan Wu, Yi Sheng Chan, Chung Hsun Chang, Yung Heng Hsu, Yu Chih Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In medical literature, few articles have reported the treatment of wound complications occurring after double-plate fixation via a two-incision approach for complex tibial plateau fractures. A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a medial gastrocnemius muscle flap transfer in treating this complicated disability. Methods: We treated 16 consecutive adult patients, including 6 cases of wound complications without previous deep infection and 10 cases of wound complications with deep wound infection. A one-stage medial gastrocnemius muscle flap transfer was performed after excision of gangrened eschar in cases with wound complication after fracture fixation without infection. A staged flap transfer was performed after debridement and antibiotic administration in cases with wound complication after fracture fixation and wound infection. Bone grafting supplementation was performed in cases where a sequestrectomy had been performed. Results: All 16 patients were followed up for an average of 31 months (range, 13-50 months). The wound complications were successfully treated in 93.8% (15/16) of patients by medial gastrocnemius flap transfer. The fracture healed in 93.8% (15/16) of patients within an average period of 17.2 weeks (range, 10-51 weeks). One patient had gastrocnemius muscle necrosis with fracture nonunion and was treated with free vascularized muscle and osseous flap transfers. Knee function was satisfactory in 62.5% (10/16) of patients. Conclusion: Medial gastrocnemius muscle flap transfer is a reliable technique for treating wound complications that occur after double-plate fixation via a two-incision approach in the treatment of complex tibial plateau fractures. A high success rate of wound healing with bone union can normally be achieved. We, therefore, recommend its widespread use in candidate patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 01 2010

Keywords

  • Complex tibial plateau fractures
  • Medial gastrocnemius muscle flap

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