Shawn McGough - Flap Surgery

Shawn McGough was already walking without a cane, working out and bicycling regularly just nine weeks following extensive reconstruction of his left leg after a serious motorcycle accident in March 2013. The 48-year-old Florissant, MO, resident suffered a compound fracture and large open wound when his leg was caught between a highway retaining wall and his motorcycle.

Orthopaedic trauma surgeon William Ricci first repaired and then stabilized McGough’s leg, inserting a rod from his knee to his ankle.

Because there wasn’t enough skin left to cover the gaping wound, Ricci then called in Daniel Osei and Martin Boyer from the orthopaedic flap surgery team to create an anterolateral thigh flap.

 Using skin from McGough’s right leg, Osei and Boyer microsurgically attached a large football shaped flap to cover the wound.

“The ALT flap is very versatile because it can be as small as 4 x 4 centimeters or as large as 20 x 30 centimeters,” says Osei.

“I totally felt that these guys were the right ones to do this,” says McGough. “They were so positive of a good result, and they talked a lot about the procedure with me so I wouldn’t worry.”

Osei and Boyer constantly monitored the flap in the days following surgery.

“They did an ultrasound every few hours at first to make sure the blood was flowing through and the flap was in good shape,” recalls McGough.

“Dr. Osei also told me he wouldn’t send me out of the hospital until they felt confident that I would do okay.” McGough, a member of the Faithful Few Motorcycle Ministry, says he always had faith that he was going to be able to walk again, but the confidence and diligent follow-up care reassured him. “I’m truly amazed that I can walk without a cane,” he says. “They were excellent.”

Learn more about flap surgery and microsurgical techniques here.

 

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