Application of a Modified Pedicled Adipofascial Lateral Arm Flap in the Prevention and Treatment of Radial Nerve Injuries
The fasciocutaneous lateral arm flap is a workhorse flap in upper extremity reconstruction. However, its adipofascial variant is not widely used. The technique can be used in various clinical scenarios. The adipofascial flap can be transposed to circumferentially wrap the radial nerve with a pliable, vascularized fat and fascial envelope, mimicking the natural fatty environment of peripheral nerves. This technique has the advantage of providing a scar tissue barrier, a barrier to hardware irritation and a milieu for vascular regeneration of the nerve. Suggested applications include nerve coverage in the setting of posterior humerus plating to prevent adhesions; anticipation of bone grafting in the setting of an open fractures with bone loss, infection, or with the use of the Masquelet technique; in revision total elbow arthroplasty or endoprosthetic humerus replacement; and in the setting of neurolysis, repair or nerve grafting. The technique is straightforward and does not require microvascular expertise.