Acellular dermal matrix and heel reconstruction: a new prospective

Background: Heel reconstruction represents a challenge for all plastic surgeons due to the anatomical and functional features of this weight-bearing area. In the last decade a combined use of acellular dermal matrices and skin grafts has been proposed as a reliable and less invasive alternative for complex wound management; nevertheless only a few cases have been reported in the literature.

Methods: We describe the long-term outcome of 2 cases of severe degloving trauma of the plantar region with massive soft tissue defects of the foot, that underwent surgical reconstruction with artificial dermis and skin grafts. At the fifth year of follow-up, both patients underwent a clinical and a computerized gait analysis to study their functional outcomes and the kinematics of their gait.

Results: Both patients recovered functional ambulation and returned to their own work and vocational activities, showing a symmetric gait and parameters of upright posture fully comparable to normality.

Conclusions: Despite the initial concerns about the use of acellular dermal matrices and skin grafts for this kind of injury, they seem to be a simple and safe alternative for weight-bearing reconstruction of the degloved foot. The authors believe that the current study yields useful information and reassurance about their long-term reliability.

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