[Free fibula transfer. Analysis of 76 consecutive microsurgical procedures and review of the literature].
Since its introduction by Taylor in 1975, microvascular free fibula transfer has become the gold standard in osseous reconstructions requiring vascularized bone transfer. Various modifications of the free fibula have been described in the literature. We reviewed a series of 76 free vascularized fibula transfers during a 7-year period. Data was retrospectively analyzed with respect to type of procedure and outcome, general surgical complications, and flap-related (specific) complications. Of all 76 free fibula flaps, 47 cases healed uneventfully (62%). Interestingly, 53% of all extremity reconstruction cases had at least one of the above complications, whereas in maxillofacial cases the complication rate was only 25%. Complete osseous consolidation at the time of evaluation was confirmed in 58 patients (76%). Complete flap failure occurred in four patients (5%). The complication rates reflect the complexity of the procedures and appear strongly related to the underlying disease and predisposing medical risk factors. Time will tell if advances, e.g., in the field of tissue engineering, will eventually replace autologous vascularized bone transfer.
Erdmann, D; Giessler, GA; Bergquist, GEO; Bruno, W; Young, H; Heitmann, C; Levin, LS
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