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Muscle Flaps

When you have had an injury or disease that has caused a significant defect in your muscle tissue, muscle-flap reconstruction might be an appropriate surgical option for you. The medical team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio in Mentor, Chardon, Westlake, Lakewood and Garfield Heights, Ohio, is experienced in this specialized surgery. For a consultation to discuss how muscle-flap surgery can help you, call or book an appointment online today.

Muscle Flaps Q & A

What is muscle-flap surgery?

Muscle-flap surgery is a procedure that helps to restore health to an area of the body with a significant defect in the tissue. This defect of the muscles and other tissues could be the result of a planned procedure, like breast removal, or because of trauma or infection.

With muscle-flap surgery, a portion of healthy tissue is transplanted to the site of a damaged tissue while also maintaining the original blood supply of the healthy tissue. Essentially, muscle and other tissues are moved from one site to another.

Muscle-flap surgery restores circulation and encourages regrowth of healthy tissue at the recipient site. Muscle flaps can include a variety of tissues, including muscle, skin, fatty tissue, fascia, nerves, and bone.

How is muscle-flap surgery different than graft surgery?

The main difference between graft surgery and muscle-flap surgery is the blood supply. With a tissue graft, the blood supply from the donation tissue is completely disconnected at the original site and re-established at the new site.

In the case of muscle-flap surgery, the blood supply from the donation site is maintained. This allows for the new tissue site to have a well-established vascular supply from the beginning of the healing process.

What conditions can be treated with muscle-flap surgery?

Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio uses muscle-flap surgery to treat a variety of conditions that have resulted in significant tissue damage. Muscle-flap surgery is often used after previous graft attempts have failed.

These conditions include:

  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone or bone marrow)
  • Charcot foot (bone weakening due to nerve damage)
  • Trauma
  • Gangrene
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Breast removal due to cancer


Muscle-flap surgery is often the best option to salvage limbs, avoiding amputation.

What are some advantages of muscle-flap surgery?

The advantage of muscle-flap surgery over skin grafts and other similar treatments is that it is well-suited for treatment and reconstruction of complex wounds. The new tissue:

  • Fills dead space created by damage
  • Has increased perfusion
  • Has resistance to infection
  • Has functional nerve coverage
  • Covers exposed vital structures


These benefits make the muscle-flap procedure the best option for treating your muscle and damaged tissue.

For a consultation with Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio about how muscle-flap surgery can help you heal, call or book an appointment online today.