Reverse flow first dorsal metacarpal artery flap for covering the defect of distal thumb

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Reconstruction of distal thumb injuries still remains a challenge for hand surgeons. Surgical treatment includes the use of local, regional, and free flaps. The purpose of this report is to present the results of the use of a sensitive reverse flow first dorsal metacarpal artery (FDMA) flap. The skin flap was designed on the radial side of the proximal phalanx of the index finger based on the ulnar and radial branch of the FDMA and a sensory branch of the superficial radial nerve. This neurovascular flap was used in five patients to cover distal soft-tissue thumb defects. All flaps achieved primary healing except for one patient in whom superficial partial necrosis of the flap occurred, and the defect healed by second intention. All patients maintained the thumb original length and were able to return to their previous daily activities. The reverse flow FDMA flap is a reliable option to cover immediate and delayed defects of distal thumb, offering acceptable functional and cosmetic outcomes in respect to sensibility, durability, and skin-match. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 34:283–286, 2014.

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