Semin Plast Surg 2009; 23(2): 108-118
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1214163
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Reconstruction of Osteomyelitis Defects

Paul Dinh1 , Brian K. Hutchinson1 , Charalampos Zalavras2 , Milan V. Stevanovic2
  • 1University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
  • 2Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, California
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
30 April 2009 (online)


Reconstruction of large skeletal defects secondary to osteomyelitis remains a challenging problem. Osteomyelitis can result from a variety of etiologies; most often, it is a consequence of trauma to a long bone. Despite advances in antibiotic therapy, treatment of chronic osteomyelitis requires adequate surgical debridement, which can often lead to large soft tissue and bone loss. Free vascularized bone can be used to reconstruct large skeletal defects greater than 6 cm or bone defects of smaller size that failed to heal with nonvascularized bone grafting. The length, cortical strength, and anatomic configuration of the free vascular fibular graft make it an ideal bone graft to bridge extremity defects, and it can be transferred with skin, fascia, and muscle to fill soft tissue defects in the recipient site.


Milan V Stevanovic, M.D. 

Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center

Keck School of Medicine of USC, 2025 Zonal Avenue, GNH Room 3900, Los Angeles, CA 90033