Muscle flaps have proved to be a valuable and versatile tool in the surgical treatment of the severely compromised lower extremity. Utilized as both local pedicle flaps and free tissue transfers, muscles have been successfully employed to cover complex wounds, manage osteomyelitis, salvage infected vascular grafts, treat recalcitrant venous stasis ulcers, preserve amputation levels, and restore motion following compartment syndrome. Free flap pedicles have also been used in a flow-through fashion to create a distal arterial bypass. This article explores the multipurpose role of muscle flaps in limb salvage surgery and their beneficial physiologic characteristics in hostile wound environments.
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