Digitalization of the Second Finger in Type 2 Central Longitudinal Deficiencies (Clefting) of the Hand

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Abstract

In central longitudinal deficiency of the hand type 2 (Manske and Halikis), the second finger presents itself anatomically and functionally as a second thumb. It is therefore necessary to undertake digitalization of the index, performed exactly as a reverse pollicization technique, with the same principles: minimum volar scarring and reconstruction of a large first web space without scars at the fold of the commissure. The incision surrounds the second digit at the level of the midproximal phalanx, extends over the dorsal edge of the cleft, and finishes on the radial side of the third finger where the second web space is to be created. Through this approach, the index metacarpal is freed (extraperiosteally), preserving the dorsal venous network, and translocated into the space of the missing third ray. After internal bone fixation, the flap, with its wide and safe volar cutaneous pedicle, is easily transposed to reconstruct the first web space, avoiding the need for skin grafting. This technique is easier and safer and does not impair the normal thumb musculature compared with the classic Snow-Littler procedure.

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