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Journal of the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand 2002;11(2):153-161.
Published online November 30, 2002.
The Reconstruction of Foot using Medial Plantar Flap
Duke Whan Chung, M.D., Jae Hoon Lee, M.D.
내측 족저 피판을 이용한 족부의 재건
Purpose: Plantar surfaces, calcaneal area, and region of Achilles insertion , which are extremely related with weight-bearing area and shoes application, must be reconstructed with glabrous and strong fibrous skin. Numerous methods of reconstructing defects of these regions have been advocated, but the transfer of similar local tissue as a cutaneous flap with preservation of sensory potential would best serve the functional needs of the weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing surfaces of this region. Therefore it is recommended to use the limited skin of medial surface of foot that is similar to plantar region and non-weight-bearing area. In this paper we performed the medial plantar flap transfered as a fasciocutaneous island as one alterative for moderate-sized defects of the plantar forefoot, plantar heel, and area around the ankle in 25 cases and report the result, availability and problem of medial plantar flap.
Materials and methods: We performed proximally based medial plantar flap in 22 cases and reverse flow island flap in 3 cases. Average age was 36.5(4~70) years and female was 3 cases. The causes of soft tissue defect were crushing injury on foot 4 cases, small bony exposure at lower leg 1 case, posterior heel defect with exposure of calcaneus 8 cases, severe sore at heel 2 cases, skin necrosis after trauma on posterior foot 4 cases, and defect on insertion area of Achilles tendon 6cases. Average follow up duration was 1.8(7 months-9.5 years) years.
Results: Medial plantar flaps was successful in 22 patients. 18 patients preserved cutaneous branches of medial plantar nerve had sensation on transfered flap but diminished sensation or dysesthesia. At the follow up, we found there were no skin ulceration , recurrence of defect or skin breakdown in all 18 patients. But there was one case which occurred skin ulceration postoperatively among another 4 cases not contained medial plantar nerve. At the last follow up, all patients complained diminished sensation and paresthesia at medial plantar area distally to donor site, expecially with 4 patients having severe pain and discomfort during long-time walking.
Conclusion: Medial plantar island flap based on medial plantar neurovascualr pedicle have low failure rate with strong fibrous skin and preserve sensibility of flap, so that it is useful method to reconstruct the skin and soft tissue defect of foot. But it should be emphasized that there are some complications such like pain and paresthesia by neuropraxia or injury of medial plantar nerve at more distal area than donor site. We may consider that medial plantar flap have limited flap size and small arc of rotation, and require skin graft closure of the donor defect and must chose this flap deliberately.
Key Words: Foot, Reconstruction of soft tissue defect, Medical plantar flap

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