Reading Man Flap: Application to Plantar Defects

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Abstract

The plantar surface of the foot has highly specialized, densely adherent, glabrous skin, making functional replacement difficult. Glabrous skin defects should be replaced with similar skin to restore function and aesthetics. An innovative technique, the “reading man flap,” was developed for closure of circular skin defects. At locations such as the face, trunk, thigh, and calf, the “reading man” procedure provides tension-free closure with minimal additional healthy skin excision, and it does not cause “dog ear” formation. The potential exists for replacement of plantar defects with skin of the same quality using this procedure. In the present study, we report on 2 clinical cases in which intermediate-size plantar defects were reconstructed using the reading man flap. This method can provide tissue as durable, yet as sensitive, as skin that matches the unique characteristics of the plantar skin.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 4

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