Utility of the free vascularized fibula flap to reconstruct oncologic defects in the upper extremity

Matthew R. Claxton, Matthew B. Shirley, Karim Bakri, Peter S. Rose, Steven L. Moran, Matthew T. Houdek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: Non-vascularized methods to reconstruct bone defects following tumor resection are associated with complications. As a result, the free vascularized fibular flap (FVF) has become a mainstay for reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to analyze FVF reconstruction in the upper extremity. Patients and Methods: We reviewed 28 (14 female and 14 male, mean age of 29±20 years) patients reconstructed with an FVF in the upper extremity following tumor resection. Reconstruction most commonly involved the humerus (n=17, 61%) and a malignant (n=23, 82%) tumor. Results: The limb salvage rate was 93% (n=26), with primary union occurring in 71% (n=20) of patients. Following bone grafting the overall union was 96% (n=27) at a mean 13±11 months. At most recent follow-up the mean MSTS93 rating was 82±22%. Conclusion: FVF effectively provided a functional reconstruction following tumor resection. Although, one in four patients will need additional bone grafting, the overall union rate is high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2751-2755
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Free vascularized fibula flap
  • Limb salvage
  • Oncologic resection
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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