COMPOUND FLAP FROM THE GREAT TOE AND VASCULARIZED JOINTS FROM THE SECOND TOE FOR POSTTRAUMATIC THUMB RECONSTRUCTION AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROXIMAL METACARPAL BONE


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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to describe the harvesting technique, anatomic variations, and clinical applications of a compound flap from the great toe and vascularized joint from the second toe used for thumb reconstruction. Five fresh cadaver dissections were studied, focusing attention on the dorsal or plantar vascular dominance, position of the communicating branch between the dorsal and plantar system, the Gilbert classification, and the size of the first dorsal metatarsal artery (FDMA) and first plantar metatarsal artery (FPMA) to the great toe and second toe. Five compound flaps were performed on five patients with traumatic thumb amputation at the level of proximal metacarpal bone. The patients' ages ranged from 14 to 47. Follow-up period was 11-24 months. The anatomic study showed that FPMA had larger caliber in 40% of dissections, FDMA in 40%, and had the same caliber in 20%. The Gilbert classification of FDMA was 40% class I and 60% class III. In the clinical applications, four patients achieved good functional opposition and motion of transferred joints with good pinch and grip strength. There was one flap failure, and donor-site morbidity was minimal. The compound flap offers advantages over traditional toe transfer by providing two functional joints. It can be used for amputation of the thumb at carpometacarpal joint level. Finally, the compound flap maintains growth potential in children through transfer of vascularized epiphyses. The disadvantages of this compound flap include a technically challenging harvest and a longer operative time.

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