The arterial anatomy of the saphenous flap: a cadaveric study.Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2012 Feb; 71(1):10-4.FM
The saphenous flap is a fasciocutaneous flap generally used for knee and upper third of the leg coverage. Due to various descriptions of the saphenous flap, such as venous, sensory, and free flap, the origin and distributing characteristics of the saphenous artery are important for plastic surgeons. The aim of this cadaveric study was to evaluate the anatomical features of the saphenous flap. The pedicles of the saphenous flap were dissected under 4 x loop magnification in thirty-two legs of 16 formalin-fixed adult cadavers. The findings of this anatomic study were as follows: Descending genicular artery originated from the femoral artery in all of the cases. The first musculoarticular branch, which arose from descending genicular, to the vastus medialis muscle existed in all dissections. The second branch was the saphenous artery which separately originated from the descending genicular artery in all of the cases. At the level of origin the mean diameter of the saphenous artery was found to be 1.61 mm. The muscular branches to the anterior or posterior sides of the sartorious muscle existed in all of the dissections. Two vena comitantes and a saphenous nerve were accompanying the saphenous artery in all cadavers. The mean distance between the origin of the artery and interepicondylar line of tibia was 115 mm. The muscular branches of the saphenous artery to the gracilis muscle were encountered 6.66% of the cases. The cutaneous branches numbered between one and four, and arose 3.5 to 9.5 cm from the site of origin of the saphenous artery. The distal end of the saphenous artery reached approximately 122 mm distally to the knee joint in all cases. Due to variations of the arterial anatomy and limited number of anatomic studies of the saphenous flap, we studied the topography and anatomy of the saphenous artery for increasing reliability of the saphenous flap.