The Medial Femoral Condyle Free Flap for Reconstruction of Recalcitrant Defects in the Head and Neck

Kuldeep Singh, Tony C.T. Huang, Jesse D. Meaike, Andrew M. Mills, John M. Nathan, Salvatore C. Lettieri, Kevin Arce, Steven L. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Small recalcitrant defects of the mandible and maxilla may be secondary to tumor, trauma, infection, and congenital origin. Vascularized bone grafting has been shown to effectively manage these defects; however, donor sites are limited. The vascularized medial femoral condyle (MFC) provides adequate cortical cancellous bone with the option of a skin island, consistent anatomy, and minimal donor site morbidity. This article outlines the use of the MFC flap for maxillomandibular reconstruction. Methods A retrospective chart review of patients who required segmental maxillomandibular reconstruction with the MFC flap was conducted. A total of 9 patients (5 men and 5 women) with an average age of 45.3 years were identified. The etiology of the defects, flap sizes, and postoperative outcomes were recorded. Results Three patients had osteoradionecrosis of the neomandible after irradiation of the free fibula reconstruction, 3 patients had defects after cancer extirpation (1 mandible, 2 maxillary), 1 patient had a maxillary defect from trauma, and 2 patients had a residual cleft palate defect. All defects failed initial treatment with nonvascularized bone grafts. The average dimensions of the MFC flaps were 1.2 × 2.5 × 4 cm. Two of 9 flaps included a skin island. Eight flaps survived completely, but 1 patient suffered from flap failure requiring debridement and resulted in an oroantral fistula. Four patients received endosseous dental implants. Average time to union was 6.7 months, and average time to implant was 6.75 months. The average follow-up time was 24.9 months. Conclusions The MFC flap is useful in the reconstruction of small segmental maxillomandibular defects and for the salvage of a neomandible after osteoradionecrosis. The MFC flap provides a reliable platform for endosseous dental implants and serves as an alternative source of vascularized bone reconstruction in the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • cleft palate
  • endosseous dental implant
  • head and neck reconstruction
  • mandible
  • maxilla
  • medial femoral condyle
  • microsurgery
  • neomandible

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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