The role of free flaps in the treatment of persistent scalp osteomyelitis

Willy D. Boeckx, R. R W J Van Der Hulst, Lloyd V. Nanhekhan, Francesca De Lorenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of the combination of an extensive surgical debridement and simultaneous free flap repair in case of troublesome cranial osteomyelitis. METHODS: Five patients with persistent, frontal bone osteomyelitis were treated with surgical debridement of the infected bone and reconstruction with a free flap. In all patients, osteomyelitis occurred after neurosurgical procedures and lasted from 1 to 7 years. A latissimus dorsi muscle flap with a split skin graft has been performed. RESULTS: No flap failure occurred and donor site morbidity was negligible. No signs of osteomyelitis or soft tissue infection were observed during the mean follow-up period of 3.2 years. Furthermore, the contour of the cranium could be preserved without a need for bone grafts or implants. CONCLUSION: In our experience, the combination of an extensive surgical debridement and a free flap transfer is demonstrated to be an effective treatment for "chronic" osteomyelitis of the cranium.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume59
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

Keywords

  • Free flap
  • Latissimus dorsi muscle flap
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Scalp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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