Introduction: The standard treatment for lower extremity burns with exposed bone is vascularized tissue transfer; however, this option is often unavailable or is technically difficult. The dermal regeneration template, a bioengineered skin substitute, is a remarkable alternative to the traditional reconstructive choices. Case Report: This report describes two cases of burns involving the lower extremities of patients admitted to the São José Hospital Burns Unit between January 2007 and December 2008 that were treated with dermal regeneration templates. Both patients had bilateral deep burn injuries with exposed bone affecting the anterior surface of the lower legs and were treated with tangential excision of the burn eschar and dermal regeneration template placement. Four weeks later, after the template engraftment, the thin outer layer of silicone was removed and epidermal coverage was restored with a split thin skin graft. Stable wound coverage was achieved and no further surgical procedures were required to maintain wound closure. Conclusion: The use of the dermal replacement template expands the reconstructive options for complex burn (and nonburn) wounds, prevents the need for prolonged staged procedures, allows successful coverage of vital structures without the use of a flap and, particularly, ensures extremity preservation.
Keywords: Burns. Lower extremity. Reconstruction. Leg/surgery.