Tripaddle Posterior Interosseous Artery Flap Design for 3-Finger Defects: An Evaluation of 3 Surgical Approaches

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The tripaddle posterior interosseous artery (PIA) flap can be used for multifinger defect resurfacing, but interpatient variations in perforator distribution remain an ongoing challenge when using this approach. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of 3 different tripaddle PIA perforator flap designs according to the PIA perforator distribution for the repair of 3-finger defects.


In accordance with the size of the 3-finger defects and the position of the perforators, a tripaddle flap was designed on the multiple perforators of the descending branch of the PIA in the distal two thirds of the forearm. Patients received 1 of 3 distinct tripaddle PIA perforator flap designs based on perforator distributions of the PIA.


Three cases of 3-finger defects were repaired with type A trefoil-shaped tripaddle flaps, whereas 4 cases were repaired with type B modified trefoil-shaped tripaddle flaps, and the other 3 cases were repaired with type C chain-shaped tripaddle flaps. All flaps survived except 2 paddles with tip necrosis. After 9.1 months of mean follow-up, 9 of the 10 cases demonstrated satisfactory cosmetic appearance, whereas the last case required a debulking procedure in the second stage.


The free tripaddle PIA perforator flap is an effective option for repairing 3-finger skin defects. Various flap designs based on the PIA perforator distribution allow for more individualized treatment approaches.

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