J Reconstr Microsurg 2023; 39(05): 367-373
DOI: 10.1055/a-1939-5742
Original Article

Outcomes and Risk Factors in Microsurgical Forefoot Reconstruction

Michael S Mayr-Riedler
1   Department for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Munich Clinic, Bogenhausen, Germany
Alexander Wacker
1   Department for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Munich Clinic, Bogenhausen, Germany
1   Department for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Munich Clinic, Bogenhausen, Germany
2   Department for Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Milomir Ninkovic
1   Department for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Munich Clinic, Bogenhausen, Germany
Hans-Günther Machens
2   Department for Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Mirko Dozan
2   Department for Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
P. Niclas Broer
1   Department for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Munich Clinic, Bogenhausen, Germany
› Author Affiliations


Background Defects at the forefoot frequently require microsurgical reconstruction; however, reconstructive failure can lead to results inferior to primary amputation. The purpose of this study was to identify independent factors affecting surgical outcomes and hospitalization time in these patients.

Methods All patients that underwent free flap reconstruction of the forefoot between 2008 and 2019 were reviewed retrospectively. Statistical evaluation included binary logistic regression and correlation analysis.

Results A total of 93 free flap procedures were performed in 87 patients. The most common defect etiologies were acute trauma (30 cases; 32.3%), diabetic foot syndrome (20 cases; 21.5%), and infection (17 cases; 18.3%). Muscle flaps were used in 50 cases (53.8%) and fasciocutaneous flaps were used in 43 cases (46.2%). Major complications occurred in 24 cases (25.8%) including 11 total flap losses and 2 partial flap losses. Minor complications occurred in 38 cases (40.9%). Patients aged 60 years or above were at significant higher risk of major complications (p = 0.029). Use of fasciocutaneous flaps (odds ratio [OR]: 14.341; p = 0.005), arterial hypertension (OR: 18.801; p = 0.014), and operative time (min) (OR: 1.010; p = 0.029) were identified as individual risk factors for major complications. Two venous anastomoses significantly reduced the risk of major complications (OR: 0.078; p = 0.022). Multiresistant bacterial wound colonization (OR: 65.152; p < 0.001) and defect size (OR: 1.007; p = 0.045) were identified as independent risk factors for minor complications. The median hospital stay was 28 days (7–85 days). Age significantly correlated with the length of hospital stay (r = 0.405, p < 0.01).

Conclusion Our study identified independent risk factors that might help to make individual decisions whether to target microsurgical forefoot reconstruction or primary amputation. Two venous anastomoses should be performed whenever feasible, and muscle free flaps should be preferred in patients at higher risk of major surgical complications.

Publication History

Received: 15 April 2022

Accepted: 03 August 2022

Accepted Manuscript online:
08 September 2022

Article published online:
14 November 2022

© 2022. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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