Distally Based Iliotibial Band Flap: Anatomic Study with Surgical Considerations

Victor W. Wong, James Patrick Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background Reconstruction of high-risk fascia, tendon, or ligament defects may benefit from vascularized tissue. The iliotibial band (ITB), a thick fibrous tract of connective tissue, serves as a potential donor site for free tissue transfer but its blood supply has not been thoroughly investigated. The aim of this anatomical study was to investigate the vascular supply to the distal ITB and its role as a free fascial flap. Methods We dissected 16 fresh-frozen cadaveric legs and injected latex into the superolateral geniculate artery (SLGA). A distal ITB fascial flap was designed and measurements were taken for flap dimensions, pedicle length and size, and SLGA perfusion territory. Results The SLGA perfused 11.5 ± 2.3 cm of distal ITB (proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle) and provided 6.4 ± 0.7cm of pedicle length to the ITB flap. Conclusions Chimeric options to include bone (from the lateral femoral condyle), cartilage (from the lateral femoral trochlea), muscle (from vastus lateralis or biceps femoris), and skin are possible. Surgical harvest techniques are proposed, including preservation of ITB insertions to minimize lateral knee instability. Clinical validation is needed to determine the role of the distal ITB free fascial flap in reconstructive microsurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 7 2016

Keywords

  • cadaver study
  • free flap
  • iliotibial band
  • reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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