Modified vastus lateralis flap in treating a difficult hip infection

Kuo Chin Huang, Kuo Ti Peng, Yen Yao Li, Yao Hung Tsai, Tsung Jen Huang, Robert Wen Wei Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Difficult-to-treat hip infections are typically a reconstructive challenge to orthopedic surgeons. Treatment regimens must be tailored to each patient on the basis of an overall evaluation of systemic host factors and local wound factors. To treat a medically ill patient with compromised local wounds in the hip area, a modified vastus lateralis flap transposition was developed. This flap transposition is of a simple design and effective as both a soft-tissue coverage and a dead space filler. Methods: From January 2002 to June 2003, 10 patients (5 male patients and 5 female patients) suffering difficult hip infections were referred to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chia-Yi for further treatment. Before visiting the clinic, each patient had undergone repeated failed operations, including debridement, introduction of antibiotic-loaded cement spacers, and fasciocutaneous flap transposition. After being diagnosed with difficult hip infections, these patients were treated with the modified vastus lateralis flap transposition immediately after radical debridement. The average follow-up period was 17.4 months (range, 9-27 months). Results: The hip infections in all 10 patients were controlled and the wounds healed uneventfully. The need for another soft-tissue procedure was not indicated. The C-reactive protein returned to a near-normal and stable level within 1 month. The only complication occurred when case 1 developed a contralateral iliopsoas abscess and secondary septic hip 9 months after the procedure. There was no morbidity or mortality related to the technique. Conclusion: For medically ill patients with compromised local wounds, the modified vastus lateralis muscle flap transposition after radical debridement is a simple and effective way of resolving refractory and limb-threatening hip infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterolateral thigh flap
  • Musculocutaneous flap
  • Radiation injury
  • Recalcitrant hip infection
  • Revision total hip arthroplasty
  • Trochanteric pressure sore
  • Vastus lateralis flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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