Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 4, P349-355, April 2007

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Extended reverse dorsal metacarpal artery flap: clinical experience and donor site morbidity


      Extended reverse dorsal metacarpal artery (RDMA) flaps use the skin from the dorsum of the hand to cover defects of the long fingers up to the distal phalanx. The authors present a series of 12 patients who underwent closure of defects of the long fingers with these flaps. As relevant literature is scarce, special emphasis was put on donor site morbidity. Active and passive total range of motion (TRM) and pinch grip strength of the finger neighbouring the reconstructed one were evaluated and compared to the corresponding finger of the contralateral hand. The donor site was furthermore evaluated for cosmetic appearance and pain.
      There was no statistically significant difference for active and passive TRM. The difference for pinch grip reached statistical significance (p=0.04). Subjective evaluation of pain and cosmetic appearance by the patients revealed a mean pain value of 1.25 on a visual analogue scale (0=no pain, 10=maximal imaginable pain) and a mean estimation of cosmetic appearance of 8 (visual analogue scale, 0=worst cosmetic result, 10=best cosmetic result).
      In conclusion, compared to other flaps, the extended RDMA flap is a fast, secure and single-stage procedure for defect coverage on the long fingers with low donor site morbidity.


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