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1.  First results with the immediate reconstructive strategy for internal hardware exposure in non-united fractures of the distal third of the leg: case series and literature review 
Fractures of the distal third of the leg are increasingly common and are often handled by open reduction and internal fixation. Exposure and infection of internal hardware could occur, especially after high energy traumas, requiring hardware removal and delayed soft tissue reconstruction. Nevertheless immediate soft tissue reconstruction without internal hardware removal is still possible in selected patients.
In this study the effectiveness and the complications of immediate soft tissue reconstruction without internal hardware removal is analyzed.
13 patients, affected by internal hardware exposure in the distal leg, treated with immediate soft tissue reconstruction with pedicled flaps and hardware retention, are retrospectively analyzed, with special regard to flap survival and wound infection.
Wound infection was observed in 10 cases before surgery and in 5 cases surgical debridement was necessary before reconstruction which was performed in a separate operative session.
After reconstruction, wound dehiscence and infection occurred in 5 cases, and in 3 cases removal of internal hardware was necessary in order to achieve the complete healing of dehiscence. In one case the previous flap failed but prompt reconstruction with a sural fasciocutaneous flap was performed without hardware removal and without complications. Pre-operative infection and late reconstructive surgery are predictive for higher rates of post-operative complications (respectively p 0.018 and p 0.028).
Our approach achieved full recovery in 53.8% of the treated cases after one-step surgery, therefore reducing hospitalization and allowing early mobilization. Controlled trials are needed to confirm the effectiveness of this strategy, although the present case series shows encouraging results.
PMCID: PMC3489621  PMID: 22929129
Exposure; Flap; Internal fixator; Reconstruction; Leg; Fracture; Internal hardware exposure; Infection; Immediate reconstruction; Pedicled flaps; Lower limb
2.  Negative Pressure Wound Therapy 
Executive Summary
This review was conducted to assess the effectiveness of negative pressure wound therapy.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Many wounds are difficult to heal, despite medical and nursing care. They may result from complications of an underlying disease, like diabetes; or from surgery, constant pressure, trauma, or burns. Chronic wounds are more often found in elderly people and in those with immunologic or chronic diseases. Chronic wounds may lead to impaired quality of life and functioning, to amputation, or even to death.
The prevalence of chronic ulcers is difficult to ascertain. It varies by condition and complications due to the condition that caused the ulcer. There are, however, some data on condition-specific prevalence rates; for example, of patients with diabetes, 15% are thought to have foot ulcers at some time during their lives. The approximate community care cost of treating leg ulcers in Canada, without reference to cause, has been estimated at upward of $100 million per year.
Surgically created wounds can also become chronic, especially if they become infected. For example, the reported incidence of sternal wound infections after median sternotomy is 1% to 5%. Abdominal surgery also creates large open wounds. Because it is sometimes necessary to leave these wounds open and allow them to heal on their own (secondary intention), some may become infected and be difficult to heal.
Yet, little is known about the wound healing process, and this makes treating wounds challenging. Many types of interventions are used to treat wounds.
Current best practice for the treatment of ulcers and other chronic wounds includes debridement (the removal of dead or contaminated tissue), which can be surgical, mechanical, or chemical; bacterial balance; and moisture balance. Treating the cause, ensuring good nutrition, and preventing primary infection also help wounds to heal. Saline or wet-to-moist dressings are reported as traditional or conventional therapy in the literature, although they typically are not the first line of treatment in Ontario. Modern moist interactive dressings are foams, calcium alginates, hydrogels, hydrocolloids, and films. Topical antibacterial agents—antiseptics, topical antibiotics, and newer antimicrobial dressings—are used to treat infection.
The Technology Being Reviewed
Negative pressure wound therapy is not a new concept in wound therapy. It is also called subatmospheric pressure therapy, vacuum sealing, vacuum pack therapy, and sealing aspirative therapy.
The aim of the procedure is to use negative pressure to create suction, which drains the wound of exudate (i.e., fluid, cells, and cellular waste that has escaped from blood vessels and seeped into tissue) and influences the shape and growth of the surface tissues in a way that helps healing. During the procedure, a piece of foam is placed over the wound, and a drain tube is placed over the foam. A large piece of transparent tape is placed over the whole area, including the healthy tissue, to secure the foam and drain the wound. The tube is connected to a vacuum source, and fluid is drawn from the wound through the foam into a disposable canister. Thus, the entire wound area is subjected to negative pressure. The device can be programmed to provide varying degrees of pressure either continuously or intermittently. It has an alarm to alert the provider or patient if the pressure seal breaks or the canister is full.
Negative pressure wound therapy may be used for patients with chronic and acute wounds; subacute wounds (dehisced incisions); chronic, diabetic wounds or pressure ulcers; meshed grafts (before and after); or flaps. It should not be used for patients with fistulae to organs/body cavities, necrotic tissue that has not been debrided, untreated osteomyelitis, wound malignancy, wounds that require hemostasis, or for patients who are taking anticoagulants.
Review Strategy
The inclusion criteria were as follows:
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a sample size of 20 or more
Human study
Published in English
Summary of Findings
Seven international health technology assessments on NPWT were identified. Included in this list of health technology assessments is the original health technology review on NPWT by the Medical Advisory Secretariat from 2004. The Medical Advisory Secretariat found that the health technology assessments consistently reported that NPWT may be useful for healing various types of wounds, but that its effectiveness could not be empirically quantified because the studies were poorly done, the patient populations and outcome measures could not be compared, and the sample sizes were small.
Six RCTs were identified that compared NPWT to standard care. Five of the 6 studies were of low or very low quality according to Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria. The low and very low quality RCTs were flawed owing to small sample sizes, inconsistent reporting of results, and patients lost to follow-up. The highest quality study, which forms the basis of this health technology policy assessment, found that:
There was not a statistically significant difference (≥ 20%) between NPWT and standard care in the rate of complete wound closure in patients who had complete wound closure but did not undergo surgical wound closure (P = .15).
The authors of this study did not report the length of time to complete wound closure between NPWT and standard care in patients who had complete wound closure but who did not undergo surgical wound closure
There was no statistically significant difference (≥ 20%) in the rate of secondary amputations between the patients that received NPWT and those that had standard care (P = .06)
There may be an increased risk of wound infection in patients that receive NPWT compared with those that receive standard care.
Based on the evidence to date, the clinical effectiveness of NPWT to heal wounds is unclear. Furthermore, saline dressings are not standard practice in Ontario, thereby rendering the literature base irrelevant in an Ontario context. Nonetheless, despite the lack of methodologically sound studies, NPWT has diffused across Ontario.
Discussions with Ontario clinical experts have highlighted some deficiencies in the current approach to wound management, especially in the community. Because NPWT is readily available, easy to administer, and may save costs, compared with multiple daily conventional dressing changes, it may be used inappropriately. The discussion group highlighted the need to put in place a coordinated, multidisciplinary strategy for wound care in Ontario to ensure the best, continuous care of patients.
PMCID: PMC3379164  PMID: 23074484
3.  Simultaneously anterior decompression and posterior instrumentation by extrapleural retroperitoneal approach in thoracolumbar lesions 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2010;44(4):409-416.
Anterior decompression with posterior instrumentation when indicated in thoracolumbar spinal lesions if performed simultaneously in single-stage expedites rehabilitation and recovery. Transthoracic, transdiaphragmatic approach to access the thoracolumbar junction is associated with significant morbidity, as it violates thoracic cavity; requires cutting of diaphragm and a separate approach, for posterior instrumentation. We evaluated the clinical outcome morbidity and feasibility of extrapleural retroperitoneal approach to perform anterior decompression and posterior instrumentation simultaneously by single “T” incision outcome in thoracolumbar spinal trauma and tuberculosis.
Patients and Methods:
Forty-eight cases of tubercular spine (n = 25) and fracture of the spine (n = 23) were included in the study of which 29 were male and 19 female. The mean age of patients was 29.1 years. All patients underwent single-stage anterior decompression, fusion, and posterior instrumentation (except two old traumatic cases) via extrapleural retroperitoneal approach by single “T” incision. Tuberculosis cases were operated in lateral position as they were stabilized with Hartshill instrumentation. For traumatic spine initially posterior pedicle screw fixation was performed in prone position and then turned to right lateral position for anterior decompression by same incision and approach. They were evaluated for blood loss, duration of surgery, superficial and deep infection of incision site, flap necrosis, correction of the kyphotic deformity, and restoration of anterior and posterior vertebral body height.
In traumatic spine group the mean duration of surgery was 269 minutes (range 215–315 minutes) including the change over time from prone to lateral position. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 918 ml (range 550–1100 ml). The preoperative mean ASIA motor, pin prick and light touch score improved from 63.3 to 74.4, 86 to 94.4 and 86 to 96 at 6 month of follow-up respectively. The mean preoperative loss of the anterior vertebral height improved from 44.7% to 18.4% immediate postoperatively and was 17.5% at final follow-up at 1 year. The means preoperative kyphus angle also improved from 23.3° to 9.3° immediately after surgery, which deteriorated to 11.5° at final follow-up. One patient developed deep wound infection at the operative site as well as flap necrosis, which needed debridement and removal of hardware. Five patients had bed sore in the sacral region, which healed uneventfully. In tubercular spine (n=25) group, mean operating time was approximately 45 minutes less than traumatic group. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 1100 ml (750–2200 ml). The mean preoperative kyphosis was corrected from 55° to 23°. Wound healing occurred uneventful in 23 cases and wound dehiscence occurred in only 2 cases. Nine out of 11 cases with paraplegia showed excellent neural recovery while 2 with panvertebral disease showed partial neural recovery. None of the patients in both groups required intensive unit care.
Simultaneous exposure of both posterior and anterior column of the spine for posterior instrumentation and anterior decompression and fusion in single stage by extra pleural retroperitoneal approach by “T” incision in thoracolumbar spinal lesions is safe, an easy alternative with reduced morbidity as chest and abdominal cavities are not violated, ICU care is not required and diaphragm is not cut.
PMCID: PMC2947728  PMID: 20924482
Extra pleural retroperitoneal approach; thoracolumbar spine; spinal trauma; tuberculosis of spine
4.  Rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps for perineal reconstruction: modifications to the technique based on a large single-centre experience 
Perineal wound breakdown with delayed wound healing represents a significant cause of morbidity following surgery and radiotherapy to the perineum. The rectus abdominis myocutaneous (RAM) flap has been used increasingly to reconstruct the perineum with good effect. We describe our six-year experience of reconstruction of the perineum with the RAM flap and share some surgical adjuncts we believe are useful.
We conducted a retrospective case note review of all patients who underwent a reconstruction of the perineum using the RAM flap between August 2003 and October 2009. Indications for the flap, complication rates and outcomes were all observed.
We conducted 16 RAM flap procedures, 15 of which (94%) were primary repairs and 1 (6%) a secondary repair. Three (19%) developed donor site hernias, two (12.5%) developed minor perineal wound infections, eight (50%) developed minor perineal wound breakdown and in one (6%) flap failure was observed. No perineal hernias were observed. There were no surgical mortalities.
The RAM flap has a high success rate and an acceptable morbidity rate and is a useful tool in the reconstruction of complex perineal wounds. Modifications to the standard surgical technique may reduce complications and improve the versatility of this flap.
PMCID: PMC3365455  PMID: 21943461
Abdominoperineal resection; Perineal wound; Rectus abdominis flap
5.  Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy and Laparoscopic Omentoplasty for Deep Sternal Wound Infections after Median Sternotomy 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2012;39(3):367-371.
Deep sternal wound infection remains one of the most serious complications in patients who undergo median sternotomy for coronary artery bypass surgery.
We describe our experience in treating 6 consecutive patients with our treatment protocol that combines aggressive débridement, broad-spectrum antibiotics, negative-pressure wound therapy, omentoplasty with laparoscopically harvested omentum, and the use of bilateral pectoral muscle advancement flaps.
The number of débridements needed in order to attain clinically clean wounds and negative cultures varied between 1 and 10, with a median of 5. The length of stay after omentoplasty and bilateral pectoral muscle advancement flap placement varied between 11 and 22 days. One of the 6 patients developed a small wound dehiscence that was treated conservatively. No bleeding related to vacuum-assisted closure therapy was identified. Three patients had pneumonia. Two of the 3 patients had an episode of acute renal failure. The 30-day mortality rate was zero, although 1 patient died in the hospital 43 days after the reconstructive surgery, of multiple-organ failure due to pneumonia that was induced by end-stage pulmonary fibrosis. No patient died between hospital discharge and the most recent follow-up date (4–12 mo). Late local follow-up results, both functional and aesthetic, were good.
We conclude that negative-pressure wound therapy—in combination with omentoplasty using laparoscopically harvested omentum and with the use of bilateral pectoral advancement flaps—is a valuable technique in the treatment of deep sternal wound infection because it produces good functional and aesthetic results.
PMCID: PMC3368473  PMID: 22719146
Coronary artery bypass grafting; debridement; deep sternal wound infection; laparoscopy; mediastinitis; negative-pressure wound therapy; omentoplasty; surgical flaps; surgical wound infection/mortality/surgery
6.  Perioperative morbidity and complications in minimal access surgery techniques in obese patients with degenerative lumbar disease 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(7):1182-1187.
The medical profession is increasingly confronted with the epidemic phenomenon of obesity. Its impact on spine surgery is not quite clear. Published data concerning the use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in the spine among obese patients is scarce. The purpose of the present retrospective study was to evaluate perioperative as well as postoperative complication rates in MIS fusion of the lumbar spine in obese, overweight and normal patients classified according to their body mass index. Lumbar MIS fusion was performed by means of TLIF procedures and/or posterolateral fusion alone. A laminotomy was performed in patients with spinal stenosis. Of 72 patients, 39 underwent additional laminotomy for spinal stenosis. No differences were registered in respect of the numbers of fused segments or cages. Any harmful event occurring peri- or postoperatively was noted and included in the statistical analysis. No infection at the site of surgery or severe wound healing disorder was encountered. We registered no difference in blood loss, drainage, or the length of the hospital stay between the three BMI groups. We also observed no difference in complication rates between the three groups. This study confirms the low soft tissue damage of minimal access surgery techniques, which is an important type of surgery in obese patients. The smaller approach helps to minimize infections and wound healing disorders. Moreover, deeper regions of wounds are clearly visualized with the aid of tubular retractors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00586-011-1689-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3176708  PMID: 21264675
Minimally invasive spinal surgery; Degenerative lumbar disease; Obesity; Complications
7.  Free Flap Reconstruction of Lateral Mandibular Defects: Indications and Outcomes 
To compare outcomes following osteocutaneous radial forearm and fibula free flap reconstruction of lateral mandibular defects.
Study Design
Retrospective case controlled study.
Two academic tertiary care centers.
Subjects and Methods
Patients who underwent free flap reconstruction of lateral mandibular defects from 1999 to 2010 were classified into four groups based on type of reconstruction: 1) radial forearm swing (n = 8), 2) radial forearm with bar (n = 5), 3) osteocutaneous radial forearm (n = 73) and 4) fibula free flap reconstruction (n = 51). Patient characteristics, length of hospital stay, recipient and donor site complications, and long term outcomes including postoperative diet were evaluated.
The majority of patients were male (67%) and presented with advanced T-stage (73%) squamous cell carcinoma (93%) involving the alveolus (26%) retromolar trigone (21%) or oral tongue (25%). Median length of hospital stay was 8 days (range 4–22). The recipient site complication rate approached 34% and included infection (n=11), mandibular malunion (n=9), exposed bone or mandibular plates (n=11) and flap failure (n=5). Most patients demonstrated little to no trismus following reconstruction (81%) and were able to resume a regular or edentulous diet (61%). No difference in complication rates or postoperative outcomes was seen between osteocutaneous radial forearm and fibula free flap groups (P > 0.05). One patient underwent dental implantation following osteocutaneous radial forearm free flap reconstruction. No patients from the fibula free flap group underwent dental implantation.
The osteocutaneous radial forearm and fibula free flap provide equivalent wound healing and functional outcomes in patients undergoing lateral mandibular defect reconstruction.
PMCID: PMC3589763  PMID: 22166963
8.  Therapy of Acute and Delayed Spinal Infections after Spinal Surgery Treated with Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Adult Patients 
Orthopedic Reviews  2013;5(4):e30.
We present the results of the treatment of infected primary or delayed spine wounds after spinal surgery using negative pressure wound therapy. In our institution (University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland) nine patients (three women and six men; mean age 68.6, range 43-87 years) were treated in the period between January to December 2011 for non-healing spinal wounds. The treatment consisted of repeated debridements, irrigation and temporary closure with negative pressure wound therapy system. Three patients were admitted with a spinal epidural abscess; two with osteoporotic lumbar fracture; two with pathologic vertebra fracture and spinal cord compression, and two with vertebra fracture after trauma. All nine patients have been treated with antibiotic therapy. In one case the hardware has been removed, in three patients laminectomy was performed without instrumentation, in five patients there was no need to remove the hardware. The average hospital stay was 16.6 days (range 11-30). The average follow-up was 3.8, range 0.5-14 months. The average number of negative pressure wound therapy procedures was three, with the range 1-11. Our retrospective study focuses on the clinical problems faced by the spinal surgeon, clinical outcomes after spinal surgery followed by wound infection, and negative pressure wound therapy. Moreover, we would like to emphasize the importance for the patients and their relatives to be fully informed about the increased complications of surgery and about the limitations of treatment of these wounds with negative pressure wound therapy.
PMCID: PMC3883071  PMID: 24416474
spinal infections; vacuum assisted therapy; infection; spinal surgery
9.  Is Post-Sternotomy Mediastinitis Still Devastating after the Advent of Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy? 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2011;38(4):375-380.
In this study, we reviewed a 15-year experience with the treatment of a severe sequela of cardiac surgery: post-sternotomy mediastinitis. We compared the outcomes of conventional treatment with those of negative-pressure wound therapy, focusing on mortality rate, sternal reinfection, and length of hospital stay.
We reviewed data on 157 consecutive patients who were treated at our institution from 1995 through 2010 for post-sternotomy mediastinitis after cardiac surgery. Of these patients, 74 had undergone extensive wound débridement followed by negative-pressure wound therapy, and 83 had undergone conventional treatment, including primary wound reopening, débridement, closed-chest irrigation without rewiring, topical application of granulated sugar for recurrent cases, and final plastic reconstruction with pectoral muscle flap in most cases.
The 2 study groups were homogeneous in terms of preoperative data and operative variables (the primary cardiac surgery was predominantly coronary artery bypass grafting). Negative-pressure wound therapy was associated with lower early mortality rates (1.4% vs 3.6%; P = 0.35) and significantly lower reinfection rates (1.4% vs 16.9%; P = 0.001). Significantly shorter hospital stays were also observed with negative pressure in comparison with conventional treatment (mean durations, 27.3 ± 9 vs 30.5 ± 3 d; P = 0.02), consequent to the accelerated process of wound healing with negative-pressure therapy.
Lower mortality and reinfection rates and shorter hospital stays can result from using negative pressure rather than conventional treatment. Therefore, negative-pressure wound therapy is advisable as first-choice therapy for deep sternal wound infection after cardiac surgery.
PMCID: PMC3147206  PMID: 21841864
Atmospheric pressure; bacterial infections; cardiac surgical procedures/adverse effects; length of stay; mediastinitis/prevention & control/therapy; postoperative complications/prevention & control/therapy; surgical wound infection/etiology/mortality/prevention & control/surgery; survival rate; vacuum curettage/methods; wound healing/physiology/therapy
10.  Comparison of Three Surgical Methods in Treatment of Patients with Pilonidal Sinus: Modified Excision and Repair/Wide Excision/Wide Excision and Flap in RASOUL, OMID and SADR Hospitals( 2004–2007) 
The Indian Journal of Surgery  2012;75(5):395-400.
This study is a comparison between three methods that are frequently used for the surgical treatment of pilonidal disease all over the world: modified excision and repair, wide excision and secondary repair, and wide excision and flap. The first technique is done by our group for the first time, and has not been described previously in the literature. This is an interventional study performed at Omid, Sadr, and Rasoul Akram hospitals on patients who had undergone operation because of pilonidal sinus disease and met the inclusion criteria between 2004 and 2007. Exclusion criteria were (1) acute pilonidal sinus diseases, (2) history of pilonidal sinus surgery, (3) history of systemic diseases (DM, malignancy, etc.), and (4) pilonidal abscess. Essential information was extracted from complete medical archives. Any data not available in files or during follow-up visits (all patients supposed to be followed at least for 1 year) were gathered by a telephone interview. A total of 194 patients met the criteria and had complete archived files. Longer duration of hospital stay was found in the “wide excision and closing with flap” method comparing with two other methods (P < 0.05). Length of incapacity for work was not different between the “wide excision and modified repair” and “wide excision” (P > 0.5) methods, but longer for “wide excision and flap” in comparison with two others (P < 0.05). Healing time was significantly longer in the “wide excision” method in comparison with two other methods (P < 0.05). However, “wide excision and modified repair” method had the least healing time between all above techniques, except for length of leaving the office. All the three recurrences (1.5 %) occurred in the wide excision and flap method (P < 0.05). The frequency of postoperative complications was 2 (3.3 %) in wide excision and modified repair, 15 (18.5 %) in wide excision, and 17 (32.7 %) in wide excision and flap closure; these differences in complications were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Our results show that the wide excision and modified repair technique, which has been described for the first time, is an acceptable method due to a low recurrence rate and better wound outcomes comparing with wide excision alone and wide excision and flap techniques for the surgical treatment of pilonidal sinus disease.
PMCID: PMC3824778  PMID: 24426484
Pilonidal sinus; Complication; Excision and modified repair technique
11.  2-Octyl-cyanoacrylate for wound closure in cervical and lumbar spinal surgery 
Neurosurgical Review  2010;33(4):483-489.
It is claimed that wound closure with 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate has the advantages that band-aids are not needed in the postoperative period, that the wound can get in contact with water and that removal of stitches is not required. This would substantially enhance patient comfort, especially in times of reduced in-hospital stays. Postoperative wound infection is a well-known complication in spinal surgery. The reported infection rates range between 0% and 12.7%. The question arises if the advantages of wound closure with 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate in spinal surgery are not surpassed by an increase in infection rate. This study has been conducted to identify the infection rate of spinal surgery if wound closure was done with 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate. A total of 235 patients with one- or two-level surgery at the cervical or lumbar spine were included in this prospective study. Their pre- and postoperative course was evaluated. Analysis included age, sex, body mass index, duration and level of operation, blood examinations, 6-week follow-up and analysis of preoperative risk factors. The data were compared to infection rates of similar surgeries found in a literature research and to a historical group of 503 patients who underwent wound closure with standard skin sutures after spine surgery. With the use of 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate, only one patient suffered from postoperative wound infection which accounts for a total infection rate of 0.43%. In the literature addressing infection rate after spine surgery, an average rate of 3.2% is reported. Infection rate was 2.2% in the historical control group. No risk factor could be identified which limited the usage of 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate. 2-Octyl-cyanoacrylate provides sufficient wound closure in spinal surgery and is associated with a low risk of postoperative wound infection.
PMCID: PMC2936674  PMID: 20440558
Wound infection; Dermabond; 2-Octyl-cyanoacrylate; Spinal surgery
12.  Can povidone-iodine solution be used safely in a spinal surgery? 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(6):1005-1014.
Intra-operative incidental contamination of surgical wounds is not rare. Povidone-iodine solution can be used to disinfect surgical wounds. Although povidone-iodine is a good broad-spectrum disinfecting agent, it has occasionally been reported to have a negative effect on wound healing and bone union. Therefore, its safety in a spinal surgery is unclear. A prospective, single-blinded, randomized study was accordingly conducted to evaluate the safety of povidone-iodine solution in spinal surgeries. Ascertained herein was the effect of wound irrigation with diluted povidone-iodine solution on wound healing, infection rate, fusion status and clinical outcome of spinal surgeries. Materials and methods: From January 2002 to August 2003, 244 consecutive cases undergoing primary instrumented lumbosacral posterolateral fusion due to degenerative spinal disorder with segmental instability had been collected and randomly divided into two groups: the study group (120 cases, 212 fusion levels) and the control group (124 cases, 223 fusion levels). Excluded were those patients with a prior spinal surgery, spinal trauma, malignant tumor, infectious spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, metabolic bone disease, skeletal immaturity or with an immunosuppressive treatment. In the former group, wounds were irrigated with 0.35% povidone-iodine solution followed by normal saline solution just before the bone-grafting and instrumentation procedure. However, only with normal saline solution in the latter. All the operations were done by the same surgeon with a standard technique. All the patients were treated in the same postoperative fashion as well. Later on, wound healing, infection rate, spinal bone fusion and clinical outcome were evaluated in both groups. Results: A significant improvement of back and leg pain scores, modified Japanese Orthopedic Association function scores (JOA) and ambulatory capacity have been observed in both groups. One hundred and seven patients in the study group and one hundred and nine in the control group achieved solid union. There was no infection in the study group but six deep infections in the control group. Wound dehiscence was noted in one group 1 and two group 2 patients. A subsequent statistical analysis revealed higher infection rate in the control group (P<0.05), but no significant difference in fusion rate, wound healing, improvement of pain score, function score and ambulatory capacity between the two groups. Conclusion: Diluted povidone-iodine solution can be used safely in spinal surgeries, and it will not influence wound healing, bone union and clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC3489437  PMID: 16133077
Povidone-iodine solution; Clinical outcome; Spinal bone fusion; Infection
13.  Microdialysis of paraspinal muscle in healthy volunteers and patients underwent posterior lumbar fusion surgery 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(11):1604-1609.
Paraspinal muscle damage is inevitable during conventional posterior lumbar fusion surgery. Minimal invasive surgery is postulated to result in less muscle damage and better outcome. The aim of this study was to monitor metabolic changes of the paraspinal muscle and to evaluate paraspinal muscle damage during surgery using microdialysis (MD). The basic interstitial metabolisms of the paraspinal muscle and the deltoid muscle were monitored using the MD technique in eight patients, who underwent posterior lumbar fusion surgery (six male and two female, median age 57.7 years, range 37–74) and eight healthy individuals for different positions (five male and three female, age 24.1 ± 0.8 years). Concentrations of glucose, glycerol, and lactate pyruvate ratio (L/P) in both tissues were compared. In the healthy group, the glucose and glycerol concentrations and L/P were unchanged in the paraspinal muscle when the body position changed from prone to supine. The glucose concentration and L/P were stable in the paraspinal muscle during the surgery. Glycerol concentrations increased significantly to 243.0 ± 144.1 μM in the paraspinal muscle and 118.9 ± 79.8 μM in the deltoid muscle in the surgery group. Mean glycerol concentration difference (GCD) between the paraspinal muscle and the deltoid tissue was 124.1 μM (P = 0.003, with 95% confidence interval 83.4–164.9 μM). The key metabolism of paraspinal muscle can be monitored by MD during the conventional posterior lumbar fusion surgery. The glycerol concentration in the paraspinal muscle is markedly increased compared with the deltoid muscle during the surgery. It is proposed that GCD can be used to evaluate surgery related paraspinal muscle damage. Changing body position did not affect the paraspinal muscle metabolism in the healthy subjects.
PMCID: PMC2899392  PMID: 19418074
Glucose; Lactate pyruvate ratio; Glycerol; Paraspinal muscle; Microdialysis
14.  Immediate Debridement and Reconstruction with a Pectoralis Major Muscle Flap for Poststernotomy Mediastinitis 
Archives of Plastic Surgery  2012;39(1):36-41.
Poststernotomy mediastinitis is a rare, but life-threatening complication, thus early diagnosis and proper management is essential for poststernotomy mediastinitis. The main treatment for mediastinitis is aggressive debridement. Several options exist for reconstruction of defects after debridement. The efficacy of immediate debridement and reconstruction with a pectoralis major muscle flap designed for the defect immediately after the diagnosis of poststernotomy mediastinitis is demonstrated.
Between September 2009 and June 2011, 6 patients were referred to the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery of Ajou University Hospital for poststernotomy mediastinitis. All of the patients underwent extensive debridement and reconstruction with pectoralis major muscle flaps, advanced based on the pedicle of the thoracoacromial artery as soon as possible following diagnosis. A retrospective review of the 6 cases was performed to evaluate infection control, postoperative morbidity, and mortality.
All patients had complete wound closures and reduced severity of infections based on the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels and a reduction in poststernal fluid collection on computed tomography an average of 6 days postoperatively. A lack of growth of organisms in the wound culture was demonstrated after 3 weeks. There were no major wound morbidities, such as hematomas, but one minor complication required a skin graft caused by skin flap necrosis. No patient expired after definitive surgery.
Immediate debridement and reconstruction using a pectoralis major muscle flap is a safe technique for managing infections associated with poststernotomy mediastinitis, and is associated with minimal morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3385297  PMID: 22783489
Mediastinitis; Pectoralis muscle; Pedicled flap
15.  Therapy of acute wounds with water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) 
Water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) as a special form of heat radiation with a high tissue penetration and with a low thermal load to the skin surface acts both by thermal and thermic as well as by non-thermal and non-thermic effects. wIRA produces a therapeutically usable field of heat in the tissue and increases tissue temperature, tissue oxygen partial pressure, and tissue perfusion. These three factors are decisive for a sufficient tissue supply with energy and oxygen and consequently as well for wound healing and infection defense.
wIRA can considerably alleviate the pain (with remarkably less need for analgesics) and diminish an elevated wound exudation and inflammation and can show positive immunomodulatory effects. wIRA can advance wound healing or improve an impaired wound healing both in acute and in chronic wounds including infected wounds. Even the normal wound healing process can be improved.
A prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind study with 111 patients after major abdominal surgery at the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany, showed with 20 minutes irradiation twice a day (starting on the second postoperative day) in the group with wIRA and visible light VIS (wIRA(+VIS), approximately 75% wIRA, 25% VIS) compared to a control group with only VIS a significant and relevant pain reduction combined with a markedly decreased required dose of analgesics: during 230 single irradiations with wIRA(+VIS) the pain decreased without any exception (median of decrease of pain on postoperative days 2-6 was 13.4 on a 100 mm visual analog scale VAS 0-100), while pain remained unchanged in the control group (p<0.001). The required dose of analgesics was 57-70% lower in the subgroups with wIRA(+VIS) compared to the control subgroups with only VIS (median 598 versus 1398 ml ropivacaine, p<0.001, for peridural catheter analgesia; 31 versus 102 mg piritramide, p=0.001, for patient-controlled analgesia; 3.4 versus 10.2 g metamizole, p=0.005, for intravenous and oral analgesia). During irradiation with wIRA(+VIS) the subcutaneous oxygen partial pressure rose markedly by approximately 30% and the subcutaneous temperature by approximately 2.7°C (both in a tissue depth of 2 cm), whereas both remained unchanged in the control group: after irradiation the median of the subcutaneous oxygen partial pressure was 41.6 (with wIRA) versus 30.2 mm Hg in the control group (p<0.001), the median of the subcutaneous temperature was 38.9 versus 36.4°C (p<0.001). The overall evaluation of the effect of irradiation, including wound healing, pain and cosmesis, assessed on a VAS (0-100 with 50 as indifferent point of no effect) by the surgeon (median 79.0 versus 46.8, p<0.001) or the patient (79.0 versus 50.2, p<0.001) was markedly better in the group with wIRA compared to the control group. This was also true for single aspects: Wound healing assessed on a VAS by the surgeon (median 88.6 versus 78.5, p<0.001) or the patient (median 85.8 versus 81.0, p=0.040, trend) and cosmetic result assessed on a VAS by the surgeon (median 84.5 versus 76.5, p<0.001) or the patient (median 86.7 versus 73.6, p=0.001). In addition there was a trend in favor of the wIRA group to a lower rate of total wound infections (3 of 46, approximately 7%, versus 7 of 48, approximately 15%, p=0.208) including late infections after discharge, caused by the different rate of late infections after discharge: 0 of 46 in the wIRA group and 4 of 48 in the control group. And there was a trend towards a shorter postoperative hospital stay: 9 days in the wIRA group versus 11 days in the control group (p=0.037). The principal finding of this study was that postoperative irradiation with wIRA can improve even a normal wound healing process.
A prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind study with 45 severely burned children at the Children’s Hospital Park Schönfeld, Kassel, Germany, showed with 30 minutes irradiation once a day (starting on the first day, day of burn as day 1) in the group with wIRA and visible light VIS (wIRA(+VIS), approximately 75% wIRA, 25% VIS) compared to a control group with only VIS a markedly faster reduction of wound size. On the fifth day (after 4 days with irradiation) decision was taken, whether surgical debridement of necrotic tissue was necessary because of deeper (second degree, type b) burns (11 of 21 in the group with wIRA, 14 of 24 in the control group) or non-surgical treatment was possible (second degree, type a, burns). The patients treated conservatively were kept within the study and irradiated till complete reepithelialization. The patients in the group with wIRA showed a markedly faster reduction of wound area: a median reduction of wound size of 50% was reached already after 7 days compared to 9 days in the control group, a median reduction of wound size of 90% was already achieved after 9 days compared to 13 days in the control group. In addition the group with wIRA showed superior results till 3 months after the burn in terms of the overall surgical assessment of the wound, cosmesis, and assessment of effects of irradiation compared to the control group.
In a prospective, randomized, controlled study with 12 volunteers at the University Medical Center Charité, Berlin, Germany, within each volunteer 4 experimental superficial wounds (5 mm diameter) as an acute wound model were generated by suction cup technique, removing the roof of the blister with a scalpel and a sterile forceps (day 1). 4 different treatments were used and investigated during 10 days: no therapy, only wIRA(+VIS) (approximately 75% wIRA, 25% VIS; 30 minutes irradiation once a day), only dexpanthenol (= D-panthenol) cream once a day, wIRA(+VIS) and dexpanthenol cream once a day. Healing of the small experimental wounds was from a clinical point of view excellent with all 4 treatments. Therefore there were only small differences between the treatments with slight advantages of the combination wIRA(+VIS) and dexpanthenol cream and of dexpanthenol cream alone concerning relative change of wound size and assessment of feeling of the wound area. However laser scanning microscopy with a scoring system revealed differences between the 4 treatments concerning the formation of the stratum corneum (from first layer of corneocytes to full formation) especially on the days 5-7: fastest formation of the stratum corneum was seen in wounds treated with wIRA(+VIS) and dexpanthenol cream, second was wIRA(+VIS) alone, third dexpanthenol cream alone and last were untreated wounds. Bacterial counts of the wounds (taken every 2 days) showed, that wIRA(+VIS) and the combination of wIRA(+VIS) with dexpanthenol cream were able to inhibit the colonisation with physiological skin flora up to day 5 when compared with the two other groups (untreated group and group with dexpanthenol cream alone). At any investigated time, the amount of colonisation under therapy with wIRA(+VIS) alone was lower (interpreted as more suppressed) compared with the group with wIRA(+VIS) and dexpanthenol cream.
During rehabilitation after hip and knee endoprosthetic operations the resorption of wound seromas and wound hematomas was both clinically and sonographically faster and pain was reduced by irradiation with wIRA(+VIS).
wIRA can be used successfully for persistent postoperative pain e.g. after thoracotomy.
As perspectives for wIRA it seems clinically prudent to use wIRA both pre- and postoperatively, e.g. in abdominal and thoracic operations. wIRA can be used preoperatively (e.g. during 1-2 weeks) to precondition donor and recipient sites of skin flaps, transplants or partial-thickness skin grafts, and postoperatively to improve wound healing and to decrease pain, inflammation and infections at all mentioned sites. wIRA can be used to support routine pre- or intraoperative antibiotic administration or it might even be discussed to replace this under certain conditions by wIRA.
PMCID: PMC2831241  PMID: 20204084
water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA); wound healing; acute wounds; prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind studies; reduction of pain; problem wounds; wound infections; infection defense; wound exudation; inflammation; thermal and non-thermal effects; thermic and non-thermic effects; energy supply; oxygen supply; tissue oxygen partial pressure; tissue temperature; tissue blood flow; visual analog scales (VAS); quality of life
16.  Prospective comparative study of single-layer versus double-layer closure of leg wounds after long saphenous vein harvest in coronary artery bypass graft operations 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2011;3(3):171-176.
Wound infection is one of the major complication post CABG that leads to prolonged length of stay and cost post surgery. Coronary artery bypass grafting is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world. The long saphenous vein harvested by traditional techniques is still widely used and caries a risk of wound infection.
The purpose of this study is to ascertain if a single-layer closure result in better wound healing and functional outcome as compared with the traditional two-layer closure after harvest of saphenous vein.
Sixty-seven consecutive patients undergoing CABG were prospectively randomized to have their leg wound closed by either a single-layer technique with a suction drain or double layers without suction drain. All wounds were assessed for the presence of serous discharge, inflammation, edema, purulent exudates, infection of the deep tissues, and pain postoperatively and two weeks after discharge.
There were trends towards increased rates of wound related outcomes in patients in double layer group when compared with single layer group. Out of 77 patients in our study, 52 patients underwent single layer closure (males, n = 37; females, n= 15) and 25 patients underwent double layer closure (males, n = 21; females, n = 04). There was significant statistical difference between the treatment groups with single layer group having lower average scores (4.038) compared to double layer group (9.467), P- value 0.001. Patients whose legs were closed with the single layer technique had less post operative edema (23.07% vs 53.30) and pain (44.2 vs 73.33) compared with the double layer group.
Single-layer leg wound closure over a suction drain has shown a better wound outcome compared to traditional double-layer closure. A possible mechanism of better wound healing in the former technique might be through decreased tissue handling and a reduction in leg edema.
PMCID: PMC3256521  PMID: 22263084
single layer closure; double layer closure; saphenous vein
17.  Limb salvage surgery following resection of a melanoma: Foot and ankle reconstruction using cutaneous flaps 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(5):1966-1972.
Melanomas affect the foot and ankle region and are associated with a poor prognosis. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the functional and oncological outcomes of salvage surgery using cutaneous flaps for soft tissue reconstruction of the foot and ankle following the extended resection of a melanoma. A retrospective review was conducted to evaluate patients who presented with foot melanoma and underwent salvage surgery and defect reconstruction using three types of cutaneous flap (group S) or amputation (group A) between January 1999 and December 2010 at the First Hospital of Jilin University (Changchun, China). The postoperative mortality, surgical complications, functional outcomes and oncological outcomes were evaluated. Of the 21 patients, 11 were enrolled into group S and 10 were enrolled into group A. The median follow-up time of the patients was 58 months (range, 6–92 months). In group S, a reverse sural neurocutaneous island flap was used in six patients to perform the foot reconstruction, medial plantar flaps were used in four patients and lateral malleolus flaps were used in one patient. All 11 cutaneous flaps survived and provided satisfactory coverage. Only one cutaneous flap showed partial necrosis and required treatment comprising of debridement and regular changes to the wound dressing. The overall survival rate of patients was 65.0% and patients in the two groups experienced similar oncological outcomes. Salvage surgery with cutaneous flap reconstruction was found to be a reliable option for patients presenting with malignant melanoma of the foot and ankle.
PMCID: PMC4186625  PMID: 25295080
cutaneous flaps; foot and ankle; malignant melanoma; salvage surgery; soft tissue defects
18.  Combined Arterial Reconstruction and Free Tissue Transfer for Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2013;6(4):706-710.
Objective: The purpose of treatment for critical limb ischemia (CLI) is to prevent major amputation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate our experience of treating CLI with free tissue transfer (FTT) and revascularization.
Materials and Methods: From January 2010 to December 2012, seven lower extremities in seven patients were treated with revascularization and free tissue transfer for CLI with tissue loss. All seven patients had tissue loss with a Rutherford category 6 status. Six patients underwent bypass surgery, and one patient underwent percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for revascularization. All patients also underwent free tissue transfer using the latissimus dorsi muscle simultaneously and separately in two and five patients, respectively.
Results: Five of the seven patients exhibited flap patency and survival. One patient obtained flap survival and limb salvage, although the flap graft was occluded after the patient achieved limb salvage. One patient developed partial flap necrosis requiring skin grafting and acquired limb salvage. The flap survival rate was 85%, and the limb salvage rate was 100%.
Conclusion: FTT with arterial reconstruction for CLI achieves successful wound healing and limb salvage. Both bypass surgery and endovascular treatment are useful for maintaining the vascular supply.
PMCID: PMC3866359  PMID: 24386019
free tissue transfer; bypass surgery; endovascular treatment
19.  Posterior transpedicular approach with circumferential debridement and anterior reconstruction as a salvage procedure for symptomatic failed vertebroplasty 
Complications and failure of vertebroplasty, such as cement dislodgement, cement leakage, or spinal infection, usually result in spinal instability and neural element compression. Combined anterior and posterior approaches are the most common salvage procedure for symptomatic failed vertebroplasty. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a single posterior approach technique for the treatment of patients with symptomatic failed vertebroplasty.
Ten patients with symptomatic failed vertebroplasty underwent circumferential debridement and anterior reconstruction surgery through a single-stage posterior transpedicular approach (PTA) from January 2009 to December 2011 at our institution. The differences of visual analog scale (VAS), neurologic status, and vertebral body reconstruction before and after surgery were recorded. The clinical outcomes of patients were categorized as excellent, good, fair, or poor based on modified Brodsky’s criteria.
The symptomatic failed vertebroplasty occurred between the T11 and L3 vertebrae with one- or two-level involvement. The average VAS score was 8.3 (range, 7 to 9) before surgery, significantly decreased to 3.2 (range, 2 to 4) after surgery (p < 0.01), and continued to decrease to 2.4 (range, 2 to 3) 1 year later (p < 0.01). The average correction of Cobb’s angle after surgery was 17.3° (range, 4° to 35°) (p < 0.01). The mean loss of Cobb’s angle correction after 1 year of follow-up was 2.7° (range, 0° to 5°). The average allograft subsidence at 1 year after surgery was 1 mm (range, 0 to 2). The neurologic status of Frankel’s scale significantly improved after surgery (p = 0.014) and at 1 year after surgery (p = 0.046). No one experienced severe complications such as deep wound infection or neurologic deterioration. All patients achieved good or excellent outcomes after surgery based on modified Brodsky’s criteria (p < 0.01).
Single-stage PTA surgery with circumferential debridement and anterior reconstruction technique provides good clinical outcomes and low complication rate, which can be considered as an alternative method to combined anterior and posterior approaches for patients with symptomatic failed vertebroplasty.
PMCID: PMC4332747
Cement dislodgement; Cement leakage; Failed vertebroplasty; Posterior transpedicular approach; Spinal infection
20.  Paraspinal Muscle Sparing versus Percutaneous Screw Fixation : A Prospective and Comparative Study for the Treatment of L5-S1 Spondylolisthesis 
Both the paraspinal muscle sparing approach and percutaneous screw fixation are less traumatic procedures in comparison with the conventional midline approach. These techniques have been used with the goal of reducing muscle injury. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and to compare the safety and efficacy of the paraspinal muscle sparing technique and percutaneous screw fixation for the treatment of L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
Twenty patients who had undergone posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) at the L5-S1 segment for spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied. They were divided into two groups by screw fixation technique (Group I : paraspinal muscle sparing approach and Group II: percutaneous screw fixation). Clinical outcomes were assessed by Low Back Outcome Score (LBOS) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for back and leg pain at different times after surgery. In addition, modified MacNab's grading criteria were used to assess subjective patients' outcomes 6 months after surgery. Postoperative midline surgical scarring, intraoperative blood loss, mean operation time, and procedure-related complications were analyzed.
Excellent or good results were observed in all patients in both groups 6 months after surgery. Patients in both groups showed marked improvement in terms of LBOSs all over time intervals. Postoperative midline surgical scarring and intraoperative blood loss were lower in Group II compared to Group I although these differences were not statistically significant. Low back pain (LBP) and leg pain in both groups also showed significant improvement when compared to preoperative scores. However, at 7 days and 1 month after surgery, patients in Group II had significantly better LBP scores compared to Group I.
In terms of LBP during the early postoperative period, patients who underwent percutaneous screw fixation showed better results compared to ones who underwent screw fixation via the paraspinal muscle sparing approach. Our results indicate that the percutaneous screw fixation procedure is the preferable minimally invasive technique for reducing LBP associated with L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
PMCID: PMC3085812  PMID: 21556236
Spondylolisthesis; Paraspinal muscle sparing approach; Percutaneous screw fixation; Back pain
21.  Cholecystectomy after breast reconstruction with a pedicled autologous tram flap. Types of surgical access 
The number of breast reconstruction procedures has been increasing in recent years. One of the suggested treatment methods is breast reconstruction with a pedicled skin and muscle TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle – TRAM). Surgical incisions performed during a cholecystectomy procedure may be located in the areas significant for flap survival. The aim of this paper is to present anatomical changes in abdominal walls secondary to pedicled skin and muscle (TRAM) flap breast reconstruction, which influence the planned access in cholecystectomy procedures. The authors present 2 cases of cholecystectomy performed due to cholelithiasis in female patients with a history of TRAM flap breast reconstruction procedures. The first patient underwent a traditional method of surgery 14 days after the reconstruction due to acute cholecystitis. The second patient underwent a laparoscopy due to cholelithiasis 7 years after the TRAM procedure. In both cases an abdominal ultrasound scan was performed prior to the operation, and surgical access was determined following consultation with a plastic surgeon. The patient who had undergone traditional cholecystectomy developed an infection of the postoperative wound. The wound was treated with antibiotics, vacuum therapy and skin grafting. After 7 weeks complete postoperative wound healing and correct healing of the TRAM flap were achieved. The patient who had undergone laparoscopy was discharged home on the second postoperative day without any complications. In order to plan a safe surgical access, it is necessary to know the changes in the anatomy of abdominal walls following a pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction procedure.
PMCID: PMC4198638  PMID: 25337177
laparoscopic cholecystectomy; transverse rectus abdominis muscle flap; cholecystitis; breast reconstruction procedures; natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery
22.  Complications of plate fixation of femoral shaft fractures in children and adolescents 
This study aims to critically analyze the major and minor complications that may be associated with plate fixation of pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures.
The medical records of skeletally immature patients (6–15 years of age) who underwent plate fixation of a diaphyseal femur fracture at a tertiary-care level-1 pediatric trauma center between 1/2003 and 12/2010 were reviewed. Demographic and clinical information regarding the mechanism of injury, fracture type, and surgical technique were recorded. Radiographic evaluation of bony healing, hardware position, and deformity was performed throughout the study period. All intraoperative and postoperative complications were recorded. Complication incidence and time from surgery to complication were described. Multivariate logistic regression and multivariate Cox regression models were used to assess the association between different variables and the occurrence of a complication. Kaplan–Meier survivorship curves were used to evaluate the freedom from a complication with longer follow-up.
Over an 8-year period, 85 skeletally immature patients (83 % males, mean age 10.2 years) underwent plate fixation for diaphyseal femur fractures. Overall, complications were identified in 11 patients (13 %). Major complications, defined as those resulting in unplanned reoperation (excluding elective removal of asymptomatic plate/screws), occurred in five patients (6 %) and included two patients (2 %) with wound infections requiring irrigation and debridement, two patients (2 %) with distal femoral valgus deformity (DFVD) leading to osteotomy and hardware removal, respectively, and one patient (1 %) with a 3-cm leg length discrepancy (LLD) requiring epiphysiodesis. Minor complications, defined as those not requiring unplanned operative intervention, occurred in six patients (7 %) and included two patients (2 %) with delayed union, two patients (2 %) with symptomatic screw prominence, one patient (1 %) with a superficial wound infection effectively treated with oral antibiotics, and one patient (1 %) with valgus malunion, which was asymptomatic at early follow-up. There were no intraoperative complications and no reports of postoperative knee stiffness, shortening, or reoperations to address fracture stability. Fifty-two patients (61 %) underwent routine elective removal of hardware without related complications following fracture union. Overall, complications occurred postoperatively at a mean time of 20 months (range 0–65 months), though major complications occurred at a later time point (mean 29.1 months, range 0–65 months) than minor complications (mean 12.5 months, range 0–40.1 months). Longer follow-up was associated with higher occurrence of a complication [p = 0.0012, odds ratio = 1.05, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.02–1.08].
The plating of pediatric femur fractures is associated with 6 and 7 % rates of major and minor complications, respectively. There were minimal long-term sequelae associated with the complications noted. This complication rate compares favorably with the published rate of complications (10–62 %) associated with titanium elastic nail fixation of similar fracture types. Most complications occurred >4 months postoperatively, with major complications occurring at a later time point than minor complications. Long-term follow-up of these patients is recommended to ensure that complications do not go undetected.
Level of evidence
Retrospective case series, Level IV.
PMCID: PMC3672461  PMID: 24432082
Pediatric patients; Femoral shaft fractures; Submuscular plating; Complications
23.  Reconstruction of Abdominal Wall of a Chronically Infected Postoperative Wound with a Rectus Abdominis Myofascial Splitting Flap 
Archives of Plastic Surgery  2013;40(1):28-35.
If a chronically infected abdominal wound develops, complications such as peritonitis and an abdominal wall defect could occur. This could prolong the patient's hospital stay and increase the possibility of re-operation or another infection as well. For this reason, a solution for infection control is necessary. In this study, surgery using a rectus abdominis muscle myofascial splitting flap was performed on an abdominal wall defect.
From 2009 to 2012, 5 patients who underwent surgery due to ovarian rupture, cesarean section, or uterine myoma were chosen. In each case, during the first week after operation, the wound showed signs of infection. Surgery was chosen because the wounds did not resolve with dressing. Debridement was performed along the previous operation wound and dissection of the skin was performed to separate the skin and subcutaneous tissue from the attenuated rectus muscle and Scarpa's fascial layers. Once the anterior rectus sheath and muscle were adequately mobilized, the fascia and muscle flap were advanced medially so that the skin defect could be covered for reconstruction.
Upon 3-week follow-up after a rectus abdominis myofascial splitting flap operation, no major complication occurred. In addition, all of the patients showed satisfaction in terms of function and esthetics at 3 to 6 months post-surgery.
Using a rectus abdominis myofascial splitting flap has many esthetic and functional benefits over previous methods of abdominal defect treatment, and notably, it enabled infection control by reconstruction using muscle.
PMCID: PMC3556530  PMID: 23362477
Abdominal wound closure techniques; Wound infection; Rectus abdominis
24.  Modified Vertical Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous Flap Vaginal Reconstruction: An analysis of surgical outcomes 
Gynecologic oncology  2011;125(1):252-255.
To examine the early and late flap related morbidity and associated risk factors in patients with modified vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (VRAM) flap neovaginal reconstruction at the time of pelvic exenteration for gynecologic malignancy.
From January 1993 to January 2011, all patients were identified who underwent anterior, posterior, or total pelvic exenteration with VRAM flap neovaginal reconstruction. Patient records were systematically reviewed and demographic, clinicopathologic, operative details, flap related complications, and risk factors for wound healing were recorded and statistical analysis performed.
46 patients were identified who underwent exenteration with VRAM flap vaginal reconstruction. A risk factor for poor healing including obesity, diabetes, smoking, prior radiation, previous abdominal surgery, or poor nutritional status was present in 38 (82.6%) patients, and 24 (52.2%) had two or more risk factors. Flap complications occurred in 9 (19.6%) patients, one with complete flap necrosis that required re-operation, two with superficial flap necrosis, and three with superficial flap separation. Three patients (6.5%) suffered from vaginal stenosis, one of which was complete. Anterior abdominal wound separation occurred in 22 (47.8%) patients and pelvic abscess occurred in 14 (30.4%) patients. No individual risk factor was significantly associated with VRAM flap related morbidity; however obesity, prior radiation, and prior abdominal incision were present in nearly all the patients with flap complications.
This series confirms that modified VRAM flaps can be used successfully at the time of exenteration, even in an increasingly high risk patient population with an acceptable risk for flap complications.
PMCID: PMC4264595  PMID: 22166844
25.  Surgical management of recurrent thoracolumbar spinal sarcoma with 4-level total en bloc spondylectomy: description of technique and report of two cases 
European Spine Journal  2011;21(1):1-9.
The descriptions of total spondylectomy and further development of the technique for the treatment of vertebral sarcomas offered for the first time the opportunity to achieve oncologically sufficient resection margins, thereby improving local tumor control and overall survival. Today, single level en bloc spondylectomies are routinely performed and discussed in the literature while only few data are available for multi-level resections. However, due to the topographic vicinity of the spinal cord and large vessels, the multisegmental resections are technically demanding, represent major surgery and only few case reports are available. Surgical options are even more limited in cases of revision surgery and local recurrences when en bloc spondylectomy was considered to be not feasible due to high risk of vital complications in expanding resection margins. Deranged anatomy, implants in situ and extensive intra-/paraspinal scar tissue formation resulting from previously performed approaches and/or radiation are considered the principal complicating factors that usually hold back spine surgeons to perform revision for resection leaving the patient to palliative treatment.
We present two patient cases with previously performed piecemeal vertebrectomy in the thoracic spine due to a solitary high-grade spinal sarcoma. After extensive re-staging, both patients underwent a multi (4)-level en bloc spondylectomy in our department (one patient with combined en bloc lung resection). Except a local wound disturbance, there was no severe intra- or postoperative complication.
After multilevel en bloc spondylectomy both patients showed a good functional outcome without neurological deficits, except those resulting from oncologically scheduled resection of thoracic nerve roots. After a median follow-up of 13 months, there was no local recurrence or distant metastasis. The reconstruction using a posterior screw rod system that is interconnected to an anterior vertebral body replacement with a carbon composite cage showed no implant failure or loosening. In summary, the approach of a multilevel en bloc surgery for revision and oncologically sufficient resection in cases of spinal sarcoma recurrences seems possible. However, interdisciplinary decision making in a tumor board, realistic evaluation of surgical resectability to attain tumor free margins, advanced experiences in spinal reconstructions and involvement of vascular, visceral and thoracic surgical expertise are essential preconditions for acceptable oncological and functional outcome.
PMCID: PMC3252440  PMID: 21818598
En bloc spondylectomy; Spinal sarcoma; Solitary metastases; Local recurrence

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