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Microsurgery. 2013 Nov;33(8):638-45. doi: 10.1002/micr.22175. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

The posterolateral mid-forearm perforator flap: anatomical study and clinical application.

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Anatomic Department, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, 350108, Fujian, China.
Department of Hand Surgery and Microsurgery, BoAi Hospital, Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Department of Endocrinology, Anxi County Hospital, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China.
Jinnan Division, Jinjiang Municipal Hospital, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China.
Department of Comparative Medicine, Anatomical Institution, General Hospital of People's Liberation Army Nanjing District, Fuzhou, 350108, China.



Defects sustained at the distal forearm are common and pedicled perforator flaps have unique advantages in resurfacing it. The purpose of this study is to reappraise the anatomy of the perforator in the posterolateral aspect of the mid-forearm and present our clinical experience on using perforator flaps based on it for reconstruction of defects in the distal forearm.


This study was divided into anatomical study and clinical application. In the anatomical study, 30 preserved upper limbs were used. Clinically, 11 patients with defects at the forearm underwent reconstruction with the posterolateral mid-forearm perforator flaps. The defects, ranging from 4.5 × 2.5 cm to 10.5 × 4.5 cm, were located at the dorsal aspect of the distal forearm in 6 cases and at the volar aspect of the distal forearm in 5 cases.


Three patterns of the perforator were observed in the posterolateral aspect of the mid-forearm, which originated from the posterior interosseous artery, the proximal segment of the radial artery or the radial recurrent artery, and the middle segment of the radial artery, respectively. The perforator was located 11.8 ± 0.2 cm to 15.8 ± 0.4 cm inferior to the lateral humeral epicondyle. Clinically, flaps in 8 cases survived uneventfully, while the other 3 cases suffered mild marginal epidermal necrosis, which was cured with continuous dress changing.


The location of the perforator at the posterolateral aspect of the mid-forearm is consistent; the posterolateral mid-forearm perforator flap is particularly suitable to cover defects in the distal one-third of the forearm.

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