Versatility of the abductor hallucis muscle as a conjoined or distally-based flap

Schwabegger, Anton H; Shafighi, Maziar; Gurunluoglu, Ralfi (2005). Versatility of the abductor hallucis muscle as a conjoined or distally-based flap. Journal of trauma - injury, infection, and critical care, 59(4), pp. 1007-11. Baltimore, Md.: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins 10.1097/01.ta.0000187967.15840.15

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Soft tissue coverage of the medial ankle and foot remains a difficult, challenging, and often frustrating problem to patients as well as surgeons. To our knowledge, the abductor hallucis muscle flap is not frequently used and only a few well documented cases were found in literature. The purpose of this paper is to report and to present the long-term results of a series of four patients who underwent reconstruction of foot and ankle defects with the abductor hallucis muscle flap.In two cases, the abductor hallucis muscle flap was transposed in combination with a medialis pedis flap to cover a medial ankle defect, whereas in another case it was combined with a medial plantar flap. In this latter case, the muscle flap served to fill up a calcaneal dead space after osteomyelitis debridement, whereas the cutaneous flap was used to replace debrided skin at the heel. The abductor hallucis flap was used as a distally-based turnover flap to cover a large forefoot defect in a fourth case. Follow-up period ranged between 18 and 64 months (mean 43.3). In the early postoperative period, two flaps healed completely In two patients marginal flap necrosis occurred which was subsequently skin grafted. No donor-site complication occurred in any of the patients. In all cases, protective sensation of the skin was satisfactory as early as 6 months. In two cases mild hyperkeratosis at the skin graft border to the sole skin (non-weight bearing area of medial plantar and medialis pedis flap donor site) was present, but probably related to poor foot care. All patients were fully mobile as early as 3 months after treatment. In the long-term follow-up (43.3 months), all flaps provided with durable coverage. Functional gait deficit due to consumtion of the abductor hallucis muscle was not apparent.Our long-term results demonstrated that the abductor hallucis muscle flap is a versatile, and reliable flap suitable for the reconstruction of foot and ankle defects. Utilizing the abductor hallucis muscle as a pedicled flap (distally or proximally-based) with or without conjoined regional fasciocutaneous flaps offers a successful and durable alternative to microsurgical tree flaps for small to moderate defects over the calcaneus region, medial ankle, medial foot, and forefoot with exposed bone, tendon, or joint.

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Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Shafighi, Maziar






Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:04

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:19

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URI: (FactScience: 115640)

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