The english version of the website is under development. Wherever text appears in Greek, it means it has not been translated yet.


Reverse neurocutaneous vs propeller perforator flaps in diabetic foot reconstruction.

TitleReverse neurocutaneous vs propeller perforator flaps in diabetic foot reconstruction.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDemiri, E., Tsimponis A., Pavlidis L., Spyropoulou G-A., Foroglou P., & Dionyssiou D.
Date Published2020 Mar 14

Introduction Reverse neurocutaneous and propeller perforator flaps are both used to reconstruct diabetic distal lower limb defects. Our study aims to compare outcomes between these two groups of flaps with an emphasis on indications and complication rates. Method A retrospective analysis was conducted, reviewing data from 54 diabetic patients who underwent reconstruction of acute or chronic wounds of the foot and ankle between 2005-2018. Thirty-four patients (Group A) had a reverse neurocutaneous flap (NCF): nineteen sural and fifteen lateral supramalleolar flaps. Twenty patients (Group B) had a propeller flap (PF) based on peroneal (n = 13) or posterior tibial artery perforators (n = 7). All patients had a preoperative Doppler examination to identify the nutrient artery of the flap. In both groups, we recorded patients' demographics, characteristics of the defect, postoperative complications and time to heal. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 59 months. Student's t-test and chi-squared test were used for statistical analysis. Results Mean patients' age was 59.1 and 50.8 years for Group A and B, respectively. Defects were located at the Achilles zone (n = 16), posterior heel (n = 14), foot dorsum (n = 9), lateral and medial malleolar areas (n = 8), anterior ankle (n = 5) and lateral foot (n = 2). Mean size of the defect was 42.8 cm in Group A and 23 cm in Group B. Uneventful healing was recorded in 20/34 neurocutaneous flaps and in 12/20 propeller flaps; complications included two complete flap losses (one NCF, one PF), seventeen distal flap necroses (10 NCFs, 7 PFs), fifteen delayed wound healing events over the donor or recipient site (12 NCFs, 3 PFs). Secondary surgeries were required in 15 NCF and 8 PF patients. Mean healing time was 48.1 and 40.7 days for Group A and B, respectively. All patients, except one NCF case, which resulted in leg amputation, returned to previous levels of ambulation. Conclusion Reverse neurocutaneous and propeller flaps may provide stable reconstruction of diabetic lower limb defects; neurocutaneous flaps are specially indicated for larger and more distally located defects, although they might be associated with longer healing time and additional revision surgeries. Propeller flaps were more frequently used in younger patients for smaller and more proximally located defects.

Alternate JournalInjury
PubMed ID32184012


Secretariat of the School of Medicine


School of Medicine's presence in social networks
Follow Us or Connect with us.