Document Detail

Early soft tissue coverage and negative pressure wound therapy optimises patient outcomes in lower limb trauma.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22001504     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
BACKGROUND: The timing of soft tissue reconstruction for severe open lower limb trauma is critical to its successful outcome, particularly in the setting of exposed metalware and pre-existing wound infection. The use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) may allow a delay in soft tissue coverage without adverse effects. This study evaluated the impact of delayed free-flap reconstruction, prolonged metalware exposure, pre-flap wound infection, and the efficacy of NPWT on the success of soft tissue coverage after open lower limb injury. METHODS: Retrospective review of all free-flap reconstructions for lower limb trauma undertaken at a tertiary trauma centre between June 2002 and July 2009. RESULTS: 103 patients underwent 105 free-flap reconstructions. Compared with patients who were reconstructed within 3 days of injury, the cohort with delayed reconstruction beyond 7 days had significantly increased rates of pre-flap wound infection, flap re-operation, deep metal infection and osteomyelitis. Pre-flap wound infection independently predicted adverse surgical outcomes. In the setting of exposed metalware, free-flap transfer beyond one day significantly increased the flap failure rate. These patients required more surgical procedures and a longer hospital stay. The use of NPWT significantly lowered the rate of flap re-operations and venous thrombosis, but did not allow a delay in reconstruction beyond 7 days from injury without a concomitant rise in skeletal and flap complications. CONCLUSIONS: Following open lower limb trauma, soft tissue coverage within 3 days of injury and immediately following fracture fixation with exposed metalware minimises pre-flap wound infection and optimises surgical outcomes. NPWT provides effective temporary wound coverage, but does not allow a delay in definitive free-flap reconstruction.
David Shi Hao Liu; Foti Sofiadellis; Mark Ashton; Kirstie Macgill; Angela Webb
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-10-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Injury     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-0267     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0226040     Medline TA:  Injury     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.
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