Devascularizing complications of free fibula harvest: Peronea arteria magna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The authors present a case report of devascularizing complications following free fibula harvest. A retrospective review of 93 consecutively imaged limbs demonstrated a peronea arteria magna (PAM) prevalence of 5.3 percent in an urban population, which was used to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis for preoperative vascular imaging of the donor limb using magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and traditional angiography (TA). Donor-site complications of fibula harvest range from 15 to 30 percent, but are rarely limb-threatening. Limb loss is a dreaded complication of congenital PAM, which can be present with a normal vascular exam. Some microsurgery groups advocate using no preoperative imaging of the donor limb; they rely on intraoperative assessment of the vascular anatomy. An aborted harvest due to aberrant anatomy leads to both direct and indirect added costs. The authors believe that MRA imaging of the donor limb, being minimally invasive, is cost-effective and indicated for free fibula transfers. For equivocal results, conversion to more invasive and costly TA may be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of reconstructive microsurgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Cost effectiveness
  • Free fibula
  • Magnetic resonance angiography
  • Peronea arteria magna
  • Traditional angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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