Free Lateral Digital Flap for Reconstruction of the Fingers

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The region between the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and the metacarpophalangeal (MP) creases has greater laxity than other regions in the fingers, allowing for primary closure of the donor site. We postulated if we could consistently locate perforators from the region between the PIP and the MP crease on the radial side of the middle and ring fingers, on which a scar would be less conspicuous than one on the radial side of the index finger, these regions would be ideal donor sites for digital reconstruction using very small flaps.


In 20 fingers (10 middle fingers and 10 ring fingers) from 5 volunteers, perforators from the radial proper digital artery were visualized between the PIP and the MP creases using ultrasonography. Based on this information, and to evaluate its feasibility, a free lateral digital flap was used for reconstruction of small digital defects in 3 cases.


Of the 20 fingers, 19 had at least 1 digital artery perforator (DAP) arising from the radial proper digital artery between the PIP and MP creases. The average distance from the PIP crease to the DAP was 9.0 mm. The average diameter of the DAP was 0.37 mm. In all clinical cases, flaps survived completely with pleasing cosmesis. There were no donor site complications.


With their consistent anatomy and relatively low donor site morbidity, free lateral digital flaps from the radial side of the middle or ring fingers may be a reliable option for reconstruction of the volar surface of the digits.

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