Multiple tissue flap procedures on combat injuries safely, effectively salvaged limbs

Despite a significantly higher injury severity score, limb salvage which require multiple flap procedures in the polyextremity-injured patient is safe and equally effective compared with a single-limb-injured cohort, according to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Researchers compared and analyzed the number of single and multiple flap limb salvages, Injury Severity Score, success rates and complications of 359 warfare-related extremity injuries treated for limb salvage from 2003 through 2012 at the National Capital Consortium.

Of the limb salvage reconstructive procedures performed, 311 were single extremity salvage and 48 were multiple flap or extremity salvage. Researchers found a significantly higher Injury Severity Score among the multiple extremity group vs. the single extremity group and a primary flap failure rate of 9% in single and 12% in multiple limb salvage cases. In the multiple salvage cohort, subgroup flap failure rate was 8% in pedicle flaps, 7% in pedicle/free flaps and 25% in free flaps. Total complication rate was 26% for single and 33% for multiple limb salvage cases, according to study results.

For more information:

Valerio I. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014;doi10.1097/PRS.0000000000000363.

Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.

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