The vertical trapezius musculocutaneous flap has been successfully utilized for reconstruction in 13 patients with complex posterior skull and neck defects. This flap based on its vascular pedicle, the descending branch of the transverse cervical artery, provides well-vascularized tissue for coverage of defects related to chronic osteomyelitis, tumor extirpation, osteoradionecrosis, and dehisced cervical laminectomy wounds. Emphasis on flap design, including the location of the skin island, allows adequate wound coverage, direct donor site closure, and muscle function preservation. With its large size and wide arc of rotation, the vertical trapezius musculocutaneous flap provides reliable coverage for posterior trunk, cervical, and skull defects.
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