Think big - Plastic surgical treatment of complicated large sacral ulcerations: A case comparison

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Large pressure ulcers are a well know problem occurring frequently on immobilized patients. They can develop rapidly especially over bony prominences on the elderly, ICU patients and on patients after spinal cord injury. Plastic surgical treatment can be challenging if the defects are large and complications occur like affection of anal region or development of a Marjolin's scar ulcer. Large defects of the sacral region are well known in our university hospital. Common local flaps like gluteal rotation or (double) V-Y advancement flap are often used for the treatment of smaller defects. In special cases these therapies are not sufficient. Rarely we use fillet flap of the lower extremity to cover large sacral defects on patients who were unable to walk before. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: In this case report we demonstrate two relatively young paraplegic patients (49 and 57years old) with large sacral defect wounds. One case occurred in 2017, the other in 2019. After spinal cord injury many years ago both of them developed chronic pressure ulcers of the sacral region. In the case of 2017 a Marjolin's scar ulcer developed as a complication. Both patients had previously lost a leg during the surgical treatment. We used the other remaining leg as a fillet flap in combination with interdisciplinary rectum extirpation for sufficient surgical treatment. RESULTS: In both cases adequate coverage of the sacral defect was achieved after interdisciplinary surgical treatment including rectum extirpation. Fillet flaps were safe, even after necessary surgical revisions. In one of the cases a vacuum wound therapy and several debridements were needed. After rehabilitation the patient of the earlier case is able to fully mobilize himself in everyday life and is even able to use public transport. CONCLUSION: Using a fillet flap of the lower extremity to cover large sacral ulcers is often the last possibility of surgical treatment. Though many complications can occur, full rehabilitation and social participation is possible after fillet flap surgery even with loss of both legs. Depending on patient's motivation and availability of orthopedic technology like special electric wheel chairs and other tools full mobility can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHellenic journal of nuclear medicine
Volume22
Pages (from-to)27
Number of pages1
ISSN1790-5427
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2019

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