JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Lateral homodigital flaps pedicled with cutaneous branches of digital artery for repairing nail bed defects]

Haitao Xiao, Ying Cen, Weixin Chen, Qiang Qi, Wei Lin
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2011, 25 (9): 1040-2
21991804

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of using lateral homodigital flaps pedicled with cutaneous branches of digital artery for repairing nail bed defects.

METHODS: Between December 2008 and July 2010, 5 patients with nail bed defects were repaired with lateral homodigital flaps pedicled with cutaneous branches of digital artery. Nail bed defects were caused by crush injury of machine. There were 3 males and 2 females, aged from 22 to 35 years (mean, 28 years). Injured fingers included 3 thumbs, 1 index finger, and 1 middle finger. The size of the defects ranged from 1.1 cm x 1.0 cm to 1.8 cm x 1.2 cm and the size of the flaps ranged from 2.7 cm x 1.3 cm to 3.1 cm x 1.7 cm. The donor sites were covered by skin graft. The time between injury and admission ranged from 1 hour and 12 minutes to 3 hours and 24 minutes (mean, 2.1 hours).

RESULTS: All flaps and skin grafts survived, and the incision healed by first intention. The follow-up time ranged from 6 to 9 months (mean, 7.5 months). The fingers had good appearance. Four cases gained full postoperative sensory recovery and the two-point discrimination was 4-5 mm at 3 months after operation, but it did not recover in 1 case at last follow-up. According to the functional assessment criteria of upper limb formulated by the Hand Surgery Branch of Chinese Medicine Association, the results were excellent in 4 cases and good in 1 case.

CONCLUSION: The lateral homodigital flaps pedicled with cutaneous branches of digital artery can repair nail bed defects without sacrifice of digital artery, and can gain a full sensory recovery. It is a feasible solution for treatment of nail bed defects especially for those unwilling to cause any damage to their toes.

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