The role of free flaps in the treatment of persistent scalp osteomyelitis

W.D. Boeckx, R.R.W.J. van der Hulst, L.V. Nanhekhan, F. De Lorenzi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


To evaluate the efficacy of the combination of an extensive surgical debridement and simultaneous free flap repair in case of troublesome cranial osteomyelitis. METHODS: Five patients with persistent, frontal bone osteomyelitis were treated with surgical debridement of the infected bone and reconstruction with a free flap. In all patients, osteomyelitis occurred after neurosurgical procedures and lasted from 1 to 7 years. A latissimus dorsi muscle flap with a split skin graft has been performed. RESULTS: No flap failure occurred and donor site morbidity was negligible. No signs of osteomyelitis or soft tissue infection were observed during the mean follow-up period of 3.2 years. Furthermore, the contour of the cranium could be preserved without a need for bone grafts or implants. CONCLUSION: In our experience, the combination of an extensive surgical debridement and a free flap transfer is demonstrated to be an effective treatment for "chronic" osteomyelitis of the cranium
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ONS64-ONS67
Issue number1 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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