Three-dimensional virtual planning in precise chimeric fibula free flap for metacarpal defects: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

Metacarpal and phalanx defects with soft tissue loss were suggested to be reconstructed by vascularized bone flap. The fibular osteocutaneous flap is a preferred method. Three-dimensional virtual planning has successfully applied in mandibular reconstruction with fibular free flap. We applied three-dimensional virtual planning in precise fibula flap harvest to maintain the continuity of the fibula and to achieve accurate metacarpal and phalanx reconstruction.

Patient concerns:

A 35-year-old male presented with extensive soft tissue defects and first metacarpal defect involving the first metacarpophalangeal joint.

Diagnoses:

There were 4 cm of first metacarpal defect involving the first metacarpophalangeal joint and soft tissue defects of 5cm × 3cm + 3cm × 2cm.

Interventions:

By combining three-dimensional virtual planning, we harvested a chimeric fibular flap. The precise fibula partial osteotomies were performed with cutting guides designed in virtual planning.

Outcomes:

All the chimeric flaps survived and no significant donor-site morbidity was noted. Michigan Hand Outcome Questionnaire scores indicated acceptable functional results.

Lessons:

Our preliminary experience with the approach of three-dimensional virtual planning in precise chimeric fibula free flap is practical and efficient. Although more cases and follow-up are needed to evaluate it, this approach is expected to benefit patients.

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