Molly S. Judge DPM, FACFAS
Open fracture and other traumatic injuries of the foot and ankle can be compounded by wound complications that often require complex wound care regimens or plastic surgery techniques to achieve a satisfactory closure. Complications such as severe wound margin retraction and dehiscence, as well as infection, can delay wound healing and stall the physical rehabilitation process.
The vessel loop closure technique is a time-tested procedure that is easy to perform, readily available and inexpensive, and facilitates wound closure under physiological tension. This method can be used as an adjunct to serialwound debridements to eradicate debris and reduce the risk of infection. This gentle technique of soft tissue tensioning also encourages enhanced patient tolerance of the procedure and provides delicate manipulation of theassociated neurovascular elements gradually over time.
This is particularly helpful in cases of traumatic injury to the foot and ankle in which the soft tissue envelope has been seriously violated, such as in the crush injury resulting in compartment syndrome of the foot.
Experience has shown that the technique can be modified to provide gradual wound coaptation in addition to serial wound debridements to ensure patienttolerance of the delayed primary closure.
Vickers NS (ed.): Compendium of the Proceedings of the Podiatry Institute 2007. Podiatry Publishing Company: Tucker, GA
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