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Abstract

This study aims to compare donor-site morbidity between the traditional fibula osteocutaneous and chimeric fibula flaps for mandibular reconstruction. Twenty-three patients with head and neck cancer were recruited. Fifteen patients underwent the traditional fibula osteocutaneous flap. Eight patients received a chimeric fibula osteocutaneous flap with a sheet of soleus muscle. Subjective donor-site morbidities were evaluated by questionnaire. Objective isokinetic testing and 6-minute walking test (6MWT) were used to evaluate ankle strength and walking ability. The results revealed no significant difference was found in total average score of the questionnaire between the traditional (2.57) and the chimeric (2.75) groups (P > 0.05). There were no significant differences in peak torque/total work of ankle motions and in walking ability at 6MWT between the traditional and chimeric groups (P > 0.05). In conclusion, compared with the traditional fibula osteocutaneous flap, the chimeric fibula flap does not increase donor-site morbidity for reconstructive surgery. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2012.