Patient-Reported Lower Extremity Outcomes Following Fibula or Medial Femoral Condyle Free Flaps for Upper Extremity Defects

Megan R. Miles, Lauren Jacobson, John B. Hill, James P. Higgins, Aviram M. Giladi, Mitchell A. Pet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Free fibula flap (FFF) and medial femoral condyle (MFC) flap are commonly used for upper extremity osseous reconstruction, yet donor-site morbidity has never been systematically compared. Methods: Patients who underwent an FFF or MFC for upper extremity extra-carpal osseous reconstruction at 3 academic hand centers were retrospectively identified. Only patients who underwent reconstruction for a defect in which either flap type is routinely used or has been described in the literature were deemed eligible. Patients who agreed to participate were asked to complete the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) and Lower Limb Core Scale (LLCS). The reported population norm median score of LEFS is 77 points. The LLCS population norm mean score is 90.52 points. Results: Twenty-one patients (10 MFC, 11 FFF) were enrolled. The median LEFS score for patients after MFC was 76 (interquartile range [IQR], 49-80) points and 75 (IQR, 56-79) points after FFF. The median LLCS score for patients after MFC was 96.4 (IQR, 87.9-100) points and 100 (IQR, 91-100) points after FFF. Median LEFS scores were slightly below the population norm, whereas median LLCS scores were above the norm for both FFF and MFC. All patients stated they would have the surgery again and that any dysfunction or pain in the leg was justified by the benefit in the arm. Conclusions: When considering whether to use an MFC or FFF for upper extremity reconstruction, both flap types appear to result in modest and comparable donor-site morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHand
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • free fibula
  • free flap
  • lower extremity outcomes
  • medial femoral condyle
  • patient-reported outcomes

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