[Microsurgery for severe flexion contracture of proximal interphalangeal joint]

Xiaoxuan Fei, Shiming Feng, Shunhong Gao
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2012, 26 (7): 803-5

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical results of cross-finger flap combined with laterodigital pedicled skin flap for repair of severe flexion contracture of the proximal interphalangeal joint.

METHODS: Between October 2008 and February 2011, 11 patients (11 fingers) with severe flexion contracture of the proximal interphalangeal joint were treated with cross-finger flap combined with laterodigital pedicled skin flap. There were 7 males and 4 females, aged 20-63 years (mean, 32.6 years). The causes of injury were crush or electric-saw injury in 7 cases, burn or explosive injury in 3 cases, and electrical injury in 1 case. The locations were the index finger in 4 cases, the middle finger in 2 cases, the ring finger in 2 cases, and the little finger in 3 cases. The mean disease duration was 12.4 months (range, 6-24 months). All cases were rated as type III according to Stern classification standard. The volar tissue defect ranged from 3.0 cm x 1.5 cm to 5.0 cm x 2.5 cm, with exposed tendons, nerves, vessels, or bone after scar relaxation. The defects were repaired with cross-finger flaps (2.2 cm x 1.8 cm to 3.8 cm x 2.5 cm) combined with laterodigital pedicled skin flaps (1.5 cm x 1.2 cm to 2.5 cm x 2.0 cm). Double laterodigital pedicled skin flaps were used in 3 cases. The flap donor site was sutured directly or repaired with the skin graft.

RESULTS: All flaps survived completely and wound healed by first intention. The donor skin graft survived. All the patients were followed up 6-18 months (mean, 11.3 months). The finger appearance was satisfactory. The flaps had soft texture and good color in all cases. No obvious pigmentation or contraction was observed. The contracted fingers could extend completely with good active flexion and extension motion. At last follow-up, the extension of the proximal interphalangeal joint was 10-150. Based on proximal interphalangeal joint motion standard of Chinese Medical Association for hand surgery, the results were excellent in 6 cases, good in 4 cases, and fair in 1 case; the excellent and good rate was 90.9%.

CONCLUSION: It is an easy and simple therapy t o cover wound area of severe flexion contracture of the proximal interphalangeal joint after scar relaxation using cross-finger flap combined with laterodigital pedicled skin flap, which can repair large defect and achieve good results in finger appearance and function.

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