SHORT AND LONG TERM FOLLOW UP RESULTS OF (THE VERSATILE) GASTROCNEMIUS MUSCLE FLAP
Objective: To see the long and short term outcome of the Gastrocnemius muscle flap for coverage of soft tissue defects of knee and proximal Tibia.
Study Design: Case series.
Place and Duration of Study: Surgery Department of Combined Military Hospital Bahawalpur, from Dec 2014 to Oct 2017.
Methodology: A total of 33 patients were enrolled for the study through consecutive sampling. Data was processed using SPSS-17. All patients were followed up at first and second week (early morbidity), and then at 06 months (late morbidity) from operation. During early follow up, they were examined for Hematoma at donor site, wound Infection, sural nerve injury, partial skin graft loss and Partial Flap Necrosis. In late follow up patients were examined for reduced Knee mobility and Gastrocnemius muscle contractions.
Results: The studied 33 patients consisted of 30 (90.90%) men and 3 (9.09%) women. The mean age was 35 years (range: 16 to 64) years. Hematoma was commonest complication. It occurred in 6.06%. Wound infection, partial loss of flap, partial loss of skin graft and wound infection occurred in 3.03% patients. Late follow up revealed reduced knee mobility in 9.09% patients (n=3) and bothersome contraction of gastrocnemius muscle in same number of patients.
Conclusion: The gastrocnemius flap is reliable, versatile, and very useful for provision of supple soft tissue coverage for defects around the knee and the upper leg.