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Open Access 25-04-2024 | Knee Revision Surgery

Complex periprosthetic wound coverage in patients undergoing revision total knee arthroplasty: a single plastic surgeon study

Authors: Marco Brenneis, Dimitrios A. Flevas, Lloyd B. Gayle, Friedrich Boettner, Peter K. Sculco, Geoffrey H. Westrich

Published in: Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

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Abstract

Introduction

Options for soft tissue coverage in revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA) range from primary wound closure to complex muscle flap reconstructions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the institutional experience of wound coverage options for complex soft tissue defects in rTKA.

Materials and methods

77 patients undergoing rTKA with complex wound closure by a single plastic surgeon were retrospectively reviewed. The average follow-up was 30.1 months. In 18 (23.4%) patients, an intraoperative decision for primary closure was made. Fifty-nine patients (76.6%) received either a local fasciocutaneous (N = 18), a medial gastrocnemius (N = 37), a free latissimus dorsi (N = 3) or a lateral gastrocnemius flap (N = 1). Revision-free survival and complication rates were assessed and risk factors were analyzed with Cox-regression analysis.

Results

Medial gastrocnemius flaps had significant lower cumulative revision-free survival rates than local fasciocutaneous flaps (P = 0.021) and primary closures (P < 0.001) (42.5% vs. 71.5% vs. 100%,respectively). Comparing the most common complex closure procedures medial gastrocnemius flaps had the highest rate of prolonged wound healing (29.7%) and infection/reinfection (40.5%). Infection-associated flap procedures had significant lower cumulative revision-free survival rates (30.5%) than non-infection associated flap procedures (62.8%,P = 0.047). A history of more than two prior surgeries (HR = 6.11,P < 0.001) and an age ≥ 65 years (HR = 0.30,P = 0.018) significantly increased the risk of revision.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate that primary closure -if possible- should be preferred to early proactive muscle flap coverage. Even in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon muscle flaps have high revision and complication rates. The study highlights the need to clarify flap indications and to investigate alternative approaches.
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Metadata
Title
Complex periprosthetic wound coverage in patients undergoing revision total knee arthroplasty: a single plastic surgeon study
Authors
Marco Brenneis
Dimitrios A. Flevas
Lloyd B. Gayle
Friedrich Boettner
Peter K. Sculco
Geoffrey H. Westrich
Publication date
25-04-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Print ISSN: 0936-8051
Electronic ISSN: 1434-3916
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00402-024-05240-6