Lower extremity vascular trauma: A comprehensive, aggressive approach

Elizabeth M. Ashworth, Michael C. Dalsing, John L. Glover, M. Kathleen Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


During this study, 25 patients (26 limbs) incurred 37 vascular injuries to the lower extremity. The majority were young males injured by penetrating trauma (84%). There were 25 arterial and 12 venous injuries (two isolated). Sixteen patients had soft-tissue injuries, 12 had fractures, and six had peroneal nerve damage. Twenty-two arterial injuries were repaired, the majority (17) by saphenous vein bypass. Three tibial vessels were ligated. All major venous injuries were repaired. No synthetic material was used. Vascular repair took precedence in all but two cases. After repair, the vascular surgeon assisted with stabilization. Thirteen limbs required fasciotomy; nine required subsequent debridements and later plastic reconstruction. Limb salvage was 96%. More important, 21 patients can ambulate independently on the injured extremity (84%). These results support an aggressive approach to lower extremity vascular trauma with repair of all major arterial and venous injuries in conjunction with aggressive debridement and soft-tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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