Free-flap resurfacing of tissue defects in the foot due to large gouty tophi

Chin-Ta Lin, Shun-Cheng Chang, Tim-Mo Chen, Niann-Tzyy Dai, Ju-Peng Fu, Shou-Cheng Deng, Yuan-Sheng Tzeng, Shyi-Gen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Large or extensive gouty tophi on the feet can cause functional impairment, drainage sinus, and infected necrosis, finally resulting in complex soft-tissue defects with tendon, joint, bone, nerve, and vessel exposure. Reconstruction of complex soft-tissue defects of the foot is still challenging. The purpose of this report was to review the outcomes of free-flap reconstructive surgery for treating the metatarsal joint defects of the feet caused by chronic tophaceous gout. Methods: Ten patients who had large tophus masses (>5 cm) and ulceration on the feet were admitted to our hospital between September 2006 and September 2010. Six patients underwent free-flap reconstruction after debridement to resurface the circumferential wound, protect the underlying structures, and provide a gliding surface for exposed tendons. The patients' age, sex, comorbidities, location and size of the defects, reconstructive procedures, surgical outcomes, complications, follow-ups, and recurrence of tophaceous gout were reviewed and recorded. Results: The mean patient age was 49.8 years (range, 36-72 years). The average skin defect size was 92.2 cm 2. Five patients were treated using free anterolateral thigh flaps, and 1, using a free medial sural flap. These free flaps were safely raised and showed excellent functional and cosmetic results, with a mean follow-up of 31.7 months (range, 7-50 months). Conclusion: Chronic tophaceous gout can cause severe skin infection and necrosis, even resulting in deformity or sepsis if left untreated. Surgical debridement is inevitable in patients with extensive wounds. We reconstructed the large, ulcerative skin and soft-tissue defects on the dorsum of the foot by performing free-flap reconstruction after adequate debridement and achieved good functional and cosmetic results. © C 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • adult
  • age
  • aged
  • anterolateral thigh flap
  • article
  • clinical article
  • comorbidity
  • debridement
  • feet tophaceous gout
  • female
  • free tissue graft
  • gout
  • human
  • leg ulcer
  • male
  • medial sural flap
  • patient safety
  • priority journal
  • sex difference
  • skin necrosis
  • skin ulcer
  • surgical wound
  • tarsometatarsal joint
  • tendon
  • treatment outcome
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Gouty
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot Ulcer
  • Gout
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Taiwan
  • Toes
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing


Dive into the research topics of 'Free-flap resurfacing of tissue defects in the foot due to large gouty tophi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this