BACKGROUND: Various vascular pedicles have been used to supply the proximal fibula for vascularized epiphyseal transfer. The optimal pedicle has, however, not been agreed on. This study aimed to describe the detailed vascular anatomy of the proximal fibula to assist the surgeon in choosing the optimal pedicle. METHODS: Twenty-eight lower extremities were injected with latex or a mixture of latex and barium sulfate. Vessels supplying the proximal fibula were identified and dissected, and the course, diameter, anatomical relations, length, and branches were documented. In the barium group, high-resolution computed tomographic scanning was conducted before dissection. In seven specimens, branches of the deep peroneal nerve to the tibialis anterior muscle were carefully preserved, and their relation to the proximal fibular vascularity was noted. RESULTS: An anastomotic vascular network supplied the proximal fibula. This was formed superiorly by branches of the inferior lateral genicular artery, and inferiorly by branches of the anterior tibial artery, the most important of which were the first and second recurrent epiphyseal arteries. One or more deep peroneal nerve branches passed deep to the first recurrent epiphyseal artery in all specimens examined. In five specimens, all of the branches were superficial to the second recurrent epiphyseal artery, whereas two had branches deep to it. CONCLUSIONS: The proximal fibula can be transferred using the inferior lateral genicular or anterior tibial artery because of the existing anastomosis. Factors including length of pedicle, potential for nerve injury, and diaphyseal portion to be harvested should be considered in the pedicle choice.
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