Contemporary approach to soft-tissue reconstruction of the lower extremity after trauma

Matthew R. Zeiderman, Lee L.Q. Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The complex lower extremity wound is frequently encountered by orthopedic and plastic surgeons. Innovations in wound care, soft tissue coverage and surgical fixation techniques allow for improved functional outcomes in this patient population with highly morbid injuries. In this review, the principles of reconstruction of complex lower extremity traumatic wounds are outlined. These principles include appropriate initial evaluation of the patient and mangled extremity, as well as appropriate patient selection for limb salvage. The authors emphasize proper planning for reconstruction, timing of reconstruction and the importance of an understanding of the most appropriate reconstructive option. The role of different reconstructive and wound care modalities is discussed, notably negative pressure wound therapy and dermal substitutes. The role of pedicled flaps and microvascular free-tissue transfer are discussed, as are innovations in understanding of perforator anatomy and perforator flap surgery that have broadened the reconstruction surgeon's armamentarium. Finally, the importance of a multidisciplinary team is highlighted via the principle of the orthoplastic approach to management of complex lower extremity wounds. Upon completion of this review, the reader should have a thorough understanding of the principles of contemporary lower extremity reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertkab024
JournalBurns and Trauma
StatePublished - 2021


  • Lower extremity
  • Reconstruction
  • Soft tissue
  • Surgical approach
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Contemporary approach to soft-tissue reconstruction of the lower extremity after trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this