The distally based sural nerve flap is an excellent option for covering defects of the lower third of the leg. It allows rapid, reliable coverage of defects extending as far distally as the forefoot. The flap can be elevated under a tourniquet in relatively bloodless fashion without sacrificing a major vessel to the foot. Its use is described in a variety of defects in 11 patients, ranging in age from 3 to 64 years. The flap was used bilaterally in one case and in cross-leg fashion in another. All defects were covered with no major complications, and none of the patients required a blood transfusion. One flap experienced a small amount of distal marginal necrosis, which was excised and closed primarily. The technical aspects of flap elevation are emphasized.
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