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J Hand Surg Am. 2008 Mar;33(3):340-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2007.12.005.

The spiral flap for fingertip resurfacing: short-term and long-term results.

Author information

1
Department of Hand Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We describe a homodigital neurovascular island flap for reconstructing large pulp defects of the fingertips and review the short-term and long-term appearance and function of the reconstructed fingertips.

METHODS:

The spiral flap is a homodigital neurovascular island flap with a unique spiral advancement and transposition design that allows pulp reconstruction using sensate glabrous skin while restricting donor morbidity to the injured digit. Thirty-two fingertips were resurfaced using this flap. All had large pulp defects averaging 1.2 cm wide x 2.0 cm long (1.0-2.0 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm). Short-term results (<18 months) for all patients at a minimum of 6 months and long-term results (>5 years) for 10 patients with a mean follow-up of 13 years were reviewed. Objective outcome measures included static 2-point discrimination, degree of nail deformity (beaking), total active motion, and hypersensitivity or cold intolerance. Subjective outcome measures included patient satisfaction with function and aesthetics, using a visual analog scale.

RESULTS:

All flaps achieved primary healing with no complications. There was initially mild extension deficit in the proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints, which improved to full range of motion in the long term. Sensory recovery was excellent, with an average 2-point discrimination of 5 mm initially, improving to 4 mm in the long term. Nail beaking was minimal initially but increased significantly in the long term. These results may be explained by soft tissue remodeling. All patients on long-term follow-up were highly satisfied with both aesthetic and functional outcome. There was no hypersensitivity or cold intolerance at either the short-term or long-term follow-up assessments.

CONCLUSIONS:

The spiral advancement-transposition flap is suitable for resurfacing large pulp defects with excellent short-term and long-term functional and aesthetic results and high patient satisfaction.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic IV.

PMID:
18343289
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhsa.2007.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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