Gastrocnemius muscle flap has been in vogue for approximately five decades. The current study was carried out to document the indications and outcome of proximally based medial gastrocnemius muscle flap in our patients.
This case series was conducted in Department of Plastic Surgery and Orthopedics, National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM), Islamabad, Pakistan during 3 years. It included all patients who were managed with proximally based medial gastrocnemius muscle flap for various indications.
There were 31 patients with 24 (77.41%) males and 7 (22.58%) females. The age ranged between 16- and 53 years (mean: 27.47±10.33 years). The indications for gastrocnemius muscle flap included traumatic defects with exposed tibia/ knee joint (n=20; 64.51%), prophylactic coverage of megaprosthesis employed for knee joint reconstruction (n=9; 29%), excisional defect of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma with exposed tibia (n=1; 3.22%), and salvage of infected total knee arthroplasty (n=1; 3.22%). The hospital stay was 7-16 days (mean: 12.41±2.87 days). The flap survival in our series was 100%. There was partial skin graft in two patients (n=2; 6.45%).
Gastrocnemius muscle flap was a quick, easy and reliable coverage tool for small to moderate sized defects around the knee, the proximal third of the tibia as well as coverage of prosthesesis employed for knee arthroplasty. Inclusion of 2-4 cm tendon enhances the flap dimension without causing any additional morbidity.