Donor-site morbidity after free vascularized autogenous fibular transfer: subjective and quantitative analyses
Bodde, Esther W H × de Visser, Enrico Duysens, Jaak Hartman, Ed H M #
Plastic and reconstructive surgery vol:111 issue:7 pages:2237-42
The purpose of this study was to determine the subjective and quantitative donor-site morbidity after removal of a free vascularized fibula flap for autoreconstruction. Ten patients and six age-matched, healthy control subjects were included in this study. The postoperative periods ranged from 6 to 87 months. Subjective donor-site morbidity was assessed with a patient questionnaire and the Enneking system. For quantification of donor-site morbidity, gait was evaluated during normal walking, walking under visual and cognitive constraints, and walking at a velocity higher than the preferred one. In general, the patient perception of donor-site morbidity was low. Complaints were frequently mentioned, however, including pain (60 percent), dysesthesia (50 percent), a feeling of ankle instability (30 percent), and inability to run (20 percent). Gait analyses revealed that patients walked at a lower preferred velocity, compared with control subjects. Furthermore, they demonstrated significant increases in the coefficients of variation of stride time during walking under visual and cognitive loads and during walking at a velocity higher than the preferred one, compared with normal walking. These increases were not observed for control subjects. These findings suggest that the reautomatization of gait is affected among patients. This study demonstrates that fibula harvesting is associated with low subjective morbidity but frequent complaints. Walking during complex tasks and at high velocities reveals that restoration of gait is not complete after partial fibulectomy.