Correlating patient-reported outcomes and ambulation success following microsurgical lower extremity reconstruction in comorbid patients

Ketan M. Patel, James M. Economides, Brenton Franklin, Michael Sosin, Christopher Attinger, Ivica Ducic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Microsurgical lower extremity flap reconstruction provides a valuable option for soft tissue reconstruction in comorbid patients. Limb salvage with flap reconstruction can result in limb length preservation. Despite this, few studies have examined the impact of salvage on patient-centered metrics in this cohort of patients. Therefore, we investigated quality of life and patient satisfaction following microsurgical lower extremity reconstruction in this high-risk patient population. Factors that resulted in improved patient-centered outcomes were also identified. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all patients who had lower extremity free flap reconstruction (FFR) following lower extremity wounds. High-risk patients were identified as having multiple comorbidities and chronic wounds. Patients with traumatic wounds were excluded from analysis. Quality of life was evaluated with the Short Form-12 (SF-12) validated survey. Phone interviews were conducted for survey evaluations. Results: From 2005 to 2010, 57 patients had lower extremity flap reconstruction that met the inclusion criteria. Average follow-up was 236.6 weeks (range, 111-461). Comorbidities included diabetes (36%), PVD (24.6%), and ESRD (7%). Limb length preservation and ambulation occurred in 82.5% (47/57). Revisional surgery occurred in 33.3% (19/57). Survey response rate was 63%. Average SF-12 PCS and MCS scores were 44.9 and 59.8 for patients able to achieve ambulation and 27.6 and 61.2 for nonambulatory patients. Conclusions: Microsurgical flap reconstruction is a valuable reconstructive option in high-risk patients. Quality of life is comparable with a normalized population if limb salvage is successful. Quality of life is decreased significantly when failure to ambulate occurs in this patient cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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