Bipedicled vascularized fibula flap for proximal humerus defect in a child

Dean D. Ad-El*, Amos Paizer, Carol Pidhortz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascularized bone transfer is becoming the most important option in the many cases in which durable, long-standing bone reconstruction is needed. The transfer of the vascularized epiphyseal plate, although controversial, is advantageous in cases where future growth is needed (i.e., congenital anomalies and tumor resections in children). The use of the free fibular head flap, based on epiphyseal blood supply augmentation, was reported using the anterior tibial artery, or part of it, as the nutritional vessel. By using both the peroneal artery and the specific branch to the fibular head as a bipedicled free flap, we ensured both long-bone fibula reconstruction and augmented blood supply to the head. We report a case of subtotal resection of the humerus due to osteosarcoma in a child that was reconstructed by this method. A preoperative study was conducted on fresh cadavers to identify the specific pedicle of the fibular head. The biceps femoris tendon was used to better stabilize the shoulder joint. The child recovered well and showed good progress in rehabilitation. On follow-up 1 year postoperatively, the shoulder joint remained limited, but showed no signs of substantial remodeling on x-ray. Good elbow and wrist-hand functions were noted. The child developed a single lung metastasis that was also removed. The question remains if the theoretical advantages in bone remodeling, shoulder stability, and bone growth are worth the extra time of surgery or the possible added donor and recipient site complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-157
Number of pages3
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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