Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 4, P356-359, April 2007

Evaluation of moving and static two point discriminations of volar forearm skin before and after transfer as a sensate radial forearm island flap in reconstruction of degloving injury of the thumb


      In degloving injury of the thumb the large skin defect needs cover with sensate, glabrous and pliable skin. Although coverage of this defect with a sensate free flap from the foot is the best choice, most commonly, cover is achieved using a non-sensate distant pedicle flap. Between 2001 and 2003, degloving injuries of the thumb in eight patients were reconstructed using a sensate radial forearm flap in the sensory territory of the lateral ante-brachial nerve of the forearm which was repaired to the digital nerve of the thumb (six cases) or to a branch of the sensory radial nerve (two cases). Follow-up period ranged from 17 to 41 months (mean: 29.9 months). Sensory evaluation was performed using the moving two point discrimination (M-2PD) and static two point discrimination (S-2PD) of the volar forearm skin. These altered significantly after transfer and their values approached those of the contra-lateral thumb but never reached normal sensation (p<0.01). Sensate radial forearm island flap is a reliable option to cover a large defect of the thumb such as degloving injury and the sensation produced is acceptable.


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