A reverse ulnar hypothenar flap for finger reconstruction

S Omokawa, H Yajima, Y Inada, A Fukui, S Tamai
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2000, 106 (4): 828-33
A reverse-flow island flap from the hypothenar eminence of the hand was applied in 11 patients to treat palmar skin defects, amputation injuries, or flexion contractures of the little finger. There were three female and eight male patients, and their ages at the time of surgery averaged 46 years. A 3 x 1.5 to 5 X 2 cm fasciocutaneous flap from the ulnar aspect of the hypothenar eminence, which was located over the abductor digiti minimi muscle, was designed and transferred in a retrograde fashion to cover the skin and soft-tissue defects of the little finger. The flap was based on the ulnar palmar digital artery of the little finger and in three patients was sensated by the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve or by branches of the ulnar palmar digital nerve of the little finger. Follow-up periods averaged 42 months. The postoperative course was uneventful for all patients, and all of the flaps survived without complications. The donor site was closed primarily in all cases, and no patient complained of significant donor-site problems. Satisfactory sensory reinnervation was achieved in patients who underwent sensory flap transfer, as indicated by 5 mm of moving two-point discrimination. A reverse island flap from the hypothenar eminence is easily elevated, contains durable fasciocutaneous structures, and has a good color and texture match to the finger pulp. This flap is a good alternative for reconstruction of palmar skin and soft-tissue defects of the little finger.

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