Local random flaps are seldom used for reconstruction of complex ankle wounds because of concern for flap failure attributable to vascular compromise and tissue edema. Negative pressure wound therapy has been shown to improve perfusion and limit tissue edema. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the utility of negative pressure wound therapy in improving outcomes for local flaps of the ankle. Ten consecutive patients presenting with complex ankle wounds and reconstructed using local flaps were treated with negative pressure wound therapy postoperatively. Type of flap, immediate and long-term outcomes, and complications were assessed. Seventeen local flaps were performed on 10 patients to reconstruct their ankle wounds. Mean follow up was 88 days. All flaps healed without tissue compromise or necrosis. Only one partial dehiscence and no infections were observed. This study demonstrates that negative pressure therapy may contribute to the viability of random local flaps by decreasing venous congestion. Our experience using negative pressure wound therapy on local flaps suggests that it may serve as a useful adjunct to ensure successful closure of high-risk wounds.
Level of Clinical Evidence
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Published online: September 01, 2010
Financial Disclosure: Dr. Attinger is a consultant for LifeCell.
Conflict of Interest: None reported.
© 2010 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.