Ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury plays a pivotal role in many diseases and leads to collateral damage during surgical interventions. While most studies focus on alleviating its severity in the context of brain, liver, kidney, and cardiac tissue, research as regards to skeletal muscle has not been conducted to the same extent. In the past, GDF8 (myostatin), primarily known for supressing muscle growth, has been implicated in inflammatory circuits, and research provided promising results for cardiac IR injury mitigation by inhibiting GDF8 cell surface receptor ACVR2B. This generated the question if interrupting GDF8 signaling could temper IR injury in skeletal muscle. Examining human specimens from free myocutaneous flap transfer demonstrated increased GDF8 signaling and tissue damage in terms of apoptotic activity, cell death, tissue edema, and lipid peroxidation. In subsequent in vivo MstnLn/Ln IR injury models, we identified potential mechanisms linking GDF8 deficiency to protective effects, among others, inhibition of p38 MAPK signaling and SERCA2a modulation. Furthermore, transcriptional profiling revealed a putative involvement of NK cells. Collectively, this work establishes a protective role of GDF8 deficiency in skeletal muscle IR injury.