Use of Gastrocnemius Muscle and Musculocutaneous Flaps for Coverage of Soft Tissue Defects in Leg

  • Muhammad Naveed Shahzad Senior registrar plastic surgery, Department of Plastic Surgery, Nishtar Hospital, Multa
  • Muhammad Ayub Senior registrar surgery, Department of general surgery, Nishtar Hospital, Multan
  • Muhammad Afzal Sajid Emergency surgeon, Department of general surgery, Nishtar Hospital, Multan
Keywords: Proximal tibial defects, Gastrocnemius muscle, Musculocutaneous flap


Objective: To share our experience of proximally based gastrocnemius flap use, recipient-site variables, donor-site management, complications, and outcomes.
Patients and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at Pak Italian Modern Burn Center Nishtar Hospital Multan from January 2009 to December 2014. The records of 139 patients were retrieved from the departmental medical record system and the required information regarding the demographic, diagnostic, and clinical data (like patients' particulars---age and sex, history of occupation, any previous surgery , causes of the defects , the extent and dimensions of the defects, time since injury, exposure of bone or tendons, presence of chronic osteomyelitis, , any co-morbid conditions, postoperative course regarding wound-healing difficulties, flap loss, postoperative palsy of the peroneal nerve after elevation of lateral gastrocnemius and walking limitations) were noted. Pre and post-operative photographs and radiographs were also evaluated along with follow up of at least 6 weeks.
Results: Out of 139 our 134 flaps survived with only 1 flap having partial necrosis and 4 flaps with marginal necrosis. The complication rate is low Conclusion: GC is a robust flap and is number one choice in proximal tibial defects as even in extensive trauma this flap can be elevated and used safely. 

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