Purpose: We sought to review the diagnosis and treatment of children with lower extremity vascular injury. Methods: We performed a query of our vascular surgery database from 1996 through 2002 to determine those with lower extremity vascular injuries requiring surgery who were also less than 13 years of age. Patient demographics, presentation, cause, surgical specifics, and outcome were sought. Results: Six children (2 girls and 4 boys) with an average age of 6.8 years (range, 2-9 years) were found. The causes were 3 blunt injuries, 2 iatrogenic injuries, and 1 penetrating injury. Associated injuries were common. There were 3 femoral and 3 popliteal artery injuries. Two were pseudoaneurysms (common femoral and popliteal artery), and 4 were acute occlusions, of which 3 experienced a delay in diagnosis. There was one primary below-knee amputation. Four reverse vein bypasses were performed, and one vein patch repair of a pseudoaneurysm was performed. Generally, 7 to 9 O interrupted Prolene (Ethicon, Inc, Somerville, NJ) repairs were performed. A delay in diagnosis (2 blunt injuries) resulted in 2 major amputations and 1 insensate foot. Four reconstructions are functioning with viable limbs (follow-up, 5-49 months). An associated brain injury resulted in the only death. Conclusions: Vascular blunt injury is especially insidious in children. However, an aggressive approach of vascular repair, even extensive bypasses with reverse vein, will allow limb salvage in the absence of a diagnostic delay.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine