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You are in - Home >> Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery and Burns >> Lower Limb Reconstruction >> Knee joint cover

Knee Joint Cover

What is meant by 'stable cover'?

Tissues need to be covered with skin for them to function properly. Mobile tissues like tendons or muscles and bones are especially sensitive. In injured areas providing good skin cover that has the potential to heal quickly is necessary to recover as much function as possible.

What is the role of the knee in daily activities?

The knee is a versatile joint that allows us to run, walk, sit and jump. Stiffness of the knee severely curtails mobility and can be devastating to the social and recreational activities of a person.

Why should it be covered with healthy tissue?

Since the knee is so important for our mobility, the skin cover over it must also be supple to allow for good movements. If this skin is unhealthy it may repeatedly ulcerate when the knee is moved.

When does the knee need to be covered?

The common situations where the knee joint becomes exposed are injury, infection or poor wound healing after a knee surgery like replacement.

What are the methods of treatment?

In most situations, the wound requires to be cleaned and all poorly healing tissues removed. Then it needs to be covered with a flap, either at the same time or after a few days.

What is 'flap' surgery?

Transferring tissue from one body region to another is called a flap surgery. If such tissue is completely detached from its original site with its blood vessels, this is called a free flap. Flaps are commonly employed by Plastic surgeons to let wounds heal.

What are the flaps for the knee?

The common flaps use muscle tissue from the thigh or the leg. Smaller areas may need only a thin flap of skin, whereas large areas may need a free flap.

How long does it take for recovery?

Flaps usually heal well in 3 weeks and walking can be allowed. However, associated injuries and problems can prolong this recovery.

Free Antero Lateral Thigh free flap has been done for a traumatic exposure of the knee. Wound has healed well, restoring good gait.

Pre operative defect over knee

Intra operative with harvested ALT free flap

After flap inset

Post operative result

Post operative result