Digital coverage with flaps from the same or neighboring digits

Hippokratia 2011; 15(2):153-156

L K. Papatheodorou, Z H Dailiana, S E. Varitimidis, M E Hantes, G K. Basdekis, K N Malizos


Objective: Several flaps can be dissected from the same or neighboring digits for the reconstruction of relatively large soft tissue digital defects.
Material and Methods: In a 6-year period, 106 large soft tissue digital defects were reconstructed with the use of flaps in 101 patients. For the reconstruction of 75 fingertip defects 73 neurovascular, island or advancement flaps (42 homodigital, 18 heterodigital, 13 advancement) and 2 thenar flaps were used. The 31 defects of the proximal and middle phalanges were reconstructed with 3 intermetacarpal and 28 cross-finger flaps (17 de-epithelialized and 11 classic for dorsal and palmar defects respectively).
Results: All flaps survived. Subjectively, the results were rated as good or excellent in 69 of 73 distal defects reconstructed with neurovascular island or advancement flaps and in 29 of 31 proximal defects treated with cross-finger and intermetacarpal flaps. The mean DASH score was 4.1 and 3.34 for the neurovascular island/advancement flaps and the cross-finger flaps respectively.
Conclusions: This study elucidates the indications and presents the advantages and disadvantages of flaps used for reconstruction of proximal and distal digital defects. Good results can be obtained with appropriate flap selection and meticulous surgical technique.