The posterior tibial island flap for coverage in complex injuries of the lower extremity

Document Type



Orthopaedic Surgery


The lower third of the leg poses a surgical challenge in patients with complex injuries requiring reconstruction of soft tissue defects. The posterior tibial island fasciocutaneous flap is recognized as a suitable option for coverage of these defects, and provides a versatile solution for a complex problem. A retrospective audit was conducted at our institution from 1996 to 2008 including all patients who underwent this procedure. Patient's demographics, clinical features, outcome, and complications were noted. The study population was 24 patients (23 males, one female) with age ranging from 11 to 60 years. Mechanism of injury was road traffic accident in 20 patients and firearm injury in 4. The defect was located in the lower half of the leg in all cases. Tibial fracture was present in 15 patients, treated by external fixation in 13 and internal fixation in two patients. Fasciocutaneous flap from the medial aspect of leg was raised based on a perforator of the posterior tibial artery and rotated distally. Average length of the flaps was 12.3 cm. Patients were followed for an average of 11 months (minimum 3 months). Clinical outcome was graded as good in 19 patients, fair in four patients, and poor in one patient. Posterior tibial island flap appears to be a safe and reliable option for coverage of complex wounds in lower third of the leg.

Publication (Name of Journal)