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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-5

Early outcomes of reconstructing complex distal leg defects in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Burns, Plastic Surgery and Hand Rehabilitation Unit, College of Medicine University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital PMB 12003 Idiaraba, Nigeria
2 Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Unit, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bolaji O Mofikoya
Burns, Plastic Surgery and Hand Rehabilitation Unit, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, PMB-12003, Idiaraba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1595-9587.175482

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Background: Complex defects in the distal third of the leg are often difficult problems for the reconstructive surgeon. Objective: This study aims to identify the early outcomes of reconstruction for complex defects of the distal leg. It explores basic demographics and presentation challenges associated with these defects. It further highlights various methods of reconstruction, complications, and outcomes. Materials and Methods: Between 2008 and 2013, all patients with lower leg and ankle defects that had definitive flap cover were prospectively studied. Age, sex, duration of defect, cause of defect, comorbidity, size of defects, and the reasons for delay in intervention were obtained for each patient. The type of flap used, complications, duration of hospital stay, early outcome, and ambulation status at 6 months were noted. Results: Twenty five patients were studied during the period with a male to female ratio of 3:2. Sixty eight percent (17) of the defects were trauma related. The inability to pay for treatment was the commonest cause of intervention delay. The mean size of the defects was 31 cm2. Diabetes and peripheral vascular disease were the commonest comorbidities. Perforator-based fasciocutaneous flaps were the most commonly used (48%;12), while muscle flaps (24%;6) and adipofascial turnover flaps (20%;5) were less utilized. Two patients died and one underwent a below-knee amputation. Late infection persisted in 16%(4) of the patients seen. Conclusion: Trauma-related defects predominated in this study, and financial issues delayed definitive intervention in many cases. Inspite of this, successful coverage was obtained in 84% of the patients. There was, however, a trend toward increasing infection and mortality among older patients.

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