CD Laboratory for the Restoration of Extremity Function, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : The superior lateral genicular artery (SLGA) is the basis for a chimeric perforator flap in the lateral knee region, which may include bone, cartilage, fascia, and/or skin. To the best of our knowledge, a detailed description of the corresponding perforator-based skin area is missing in the literature. The aim of this study was to describe the extent and possible variations of the cutaneous angiosome of the SLGA. METHODS : In an anatomical study on 21 fresh frozen lower limbs, the SLGA was injected with toluidine blue. The anatomy of the vessel and its perforators was explored, and the skin containing the cutaneous angiosome was harvested and photo-documented. Evaluation of the images was performed using ImageJ software. In addition, the versatility of the SLGA perforator flap is illustrated as both a pedicled local and a free tissue transfer. RESULTS : For each vessel, there were 1.75 ± 0.9 (range 1-3) perforators at an average position of 47.3 ± 21.3 mm lateral to the superolateral patella and 42.5 ± 18.7 mm proximal to the knee joint. The angiosome area was 222.8 ± 57.6 cm2 with a length of 20.9 ± 3.0 cm and a width of 15.4 ± 3.0 cm. At the longitudinal axis of the highest perforator density, the proximal end and the distal end of perfusion averaged 13.4 ± 4.1 cm proximal and 2.5 ± 2.0 cm distal to the knee joint, respectively. CONCLUSIONS : Our results show that the SLGA supplies a constant angiosome over the anterolateral proximal knee joint. Its description and visualization will guide surgeons in preoperative planning and further extend the use of this versatile chimeric perforator flap.