[The infragluteal perforator flap].
PURPOSE: Pressure sores of the ischial tuberosities are mostly covered with fascio- or myocutaneous flaps of the posterior thigh. In doing so, vascular territories of adjacent flaps are violated, which are not available any more in case of ulcer recurrences. In consideration of the high recurrence rates of pressure sores in paraplegics, we developed an infragluteal perforator flap that spares adjacent vascular territories. PATIENTS/MATERIAL AND METHOD: Infragluteal perforator flaps were dissected in five fresh human cadavers to investigate the anatomic relations of the cutaneous branches of the inferior gluteal artery and the inferior clunial nerves and to define the anatomic landmarks for clinical application of an innervated flap. In six paraplegic patients with primary (5/6) and secondary (1/6) pressure sores of the ischial tuberosity, infragluteal perforator flaps were used for wound coverage. The donor defect was closed primarily and postoperative care and patient mobilisation followed a standardised protocol. RESULTS: In eleven infragluteal perforator flaps that were dissected in cadavers and patients, we found one or two cutaneous branches of the descending branch of the inferior gluteal artery at the lower border of the gluteus maximus muscle that supplied the infragluteal skin. Infragluteal perforator flaps could be harvested on these perforator vessels and transferred to the ischial defects without tension due to the excellent mobility of the skin island. The descending branch of the inferior gluteal artery could be spared in all cases for future flaps. In one patient with multiple recurrences of an ischial pressure sore flap necrosis occurred due to venous congestion. The other five infragluteal perforator flaps healed without complications. CONCLUSION: The infragluteal perforator flap is suitable for the closure of pressure sores of the ischial tuberosities and can be used as a sensitised flap by inclusion of the inferior clunial nerves. Compared to traditional pedicled flaps of the posterior thigh, the infragluteal perforator flap reduces donor site morbidity and spares the vascular territories of adjacent flaps for future recurrent ulcers.
Scheufler, O; Farhadi, J; Pierer, G; Levin, LS; Erdmann, D
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