Viability of permanent PMMA spacer with combined free fasciocutaneous tissue transfer for failed charcot reconstruction: A 38 month prospective case report

Tammer Elmarsafi, John S. Steinberg, Paul J. Kim, Christopher E. Attinger, Karen K. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Introduction Charcot Neuroarthropathy is a complex lower extremity pathology which predisposes the afflicted limb to ulcerations, osteomyelitis, and risk of major amputation. Charcot Neuroarthropathy often requires osseous reconstruction, which can be complicated with osteomyelitis and hardware infection. When soft tissue and osseous deficits must be concomitantly addressed, the use of PMMA spacers can be combined with free tissue transfers. Presentation of case 71 year old Caucasian male with Diabetic Charcot Neuroarthopathy underwent osseous reconstruction with internal hardware. The surgical site was complicated by acute infection, osteomyelitis, exposed hardware requiring removal, and multiple surgical débridement. The degree of soft tissue and osseous deficit post-débridement required complex reconstruction. Discussion The osseous deficit was addressed with the use of a permanent PMMA cement spacer. The soft tissue deficit was reconstructed with a free tissue transfer. This case report demonstrates the long term viability and utility of the use of permanent cement spacers when combined with free tissue transfer for closure of complex diabetic foot wounds. This case is an example of a multidisciplinary team approach to limb salvage with successful long term outcome; a plantigrade stable functional foot in an ambulatory highly active patient. Follow up time since initial intervention was 38 months. Conclusion The use of a permanent PMMA cement spacer does not preclude free tissue transfer in complex host lower extremity reconstruction. A multidisciplinary team approach is a vital component to successful salvage outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Cement spacer
  • Charcot neuroarthropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Free tissue transfer
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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