A reliable approach to the closure of large acquired midline defects of the back

Laurie A. Casas*, Victor L. Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A systematic regionalized approach for the reconstruction of acquired thoracic and lumbar midline defects of the back is described. Twenty-three patients with wounds resulting from pressure necrosis, radiation injury, and postoperative wound infection and dehiscence were successfully reconstructed. The latissimus dorsi, trapezius, gluteus maximus, and paraspinous muscles are utilized individually or in combination as advancement, rotation, island, unipedicle, turnover, or bipedicle flaps. All flaps are designed so that their vascular pedicles are out of the field of injury. After thorough debridement, large, deep wounds are closed with two layers of muscle, while smaller, more superficial wounds are reconstructed with one layer. The trapezius muscle is utilized in the high thoracic area for the deep wound layer, while the paraspinous muscle is used for this layer in the thoracic and lumbar regions. Superficial layer and small wounds in the high thoracic area are reconstructed with either latissimus dorsi or trapezius muscle. Corresponding wounds in the thoracic and lumbar areas are closed with latissimus dorsi muscle alone or in combination with gluteus maximus muscle. The rationale for systematic regionalized reconstruction of acquired midline back wounds is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-641
Number of pages10
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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