Background: Soft tissue defects on the lower third of the leg, ankle, heel and foot remains a challenge for reconstructive plastic surgery. The distally based sural flap is an option in the reconstruction of these areas because of the largest arc of rotation and does not sacrifice any major artery. Objective: To study the distally based sural flap in patients with soft lesions in the lower third of the leg, ankle, heel and foot. Method: We report 15 patients with lesions in the on the lower third of the leg, ankle, heel and foot, submitted to distally based sural flap in a two-step surgery approach, without a tunnel to reduce venous congestion. Results: Fifteen patients were studied, 11 men and 4 female, 10 after trauma. Five patients had diabetes and the ages varied from 18 to 75 years. All the soft defects occurred in the lower third of the leg, ankle, heel and foot were submitted to distally based sural flap in two-step surgery approach. All defects were successfully covered without major complications. Venous congestion was reported in only one case, completely reversed with the elevation of the limb. Conclusion: The distally based sural flap is an alternative to the reconstruction of the lower third of the leg, ankle, heel and foot defects. It is a versatile, reliable procedure, and surgical technique is safe, short of duration and provides an excellent option to microsurgical reconstruction in theses presented cases. The success rate in this study is comparable to literature.
Keywords: Surgical flaps. Sural nerve/blood supply. Reconstructive surgical procedures/methods.