The provision of innervated skin cover for the injured thumb using dorsal metacarpal artery island flaps.
Williams RL., Nanchahal J., Sykes PJ., O'Shaughnessy M.
Provision of stable sensate skin is of great importance in reconstruction of the injured thumb. Island flaps based on the dorsal metacarpal arteries were used to resurface ten injured thumbs, and the degree of retained sensibility was assessed using static and moving two-point discrimination and the pick-up test. Results show that these flaps are capable of providing stable full-thickness skin cover in a single procedure and functional sensibility is retained in most cases. The second dorsal metacarpal artery island flap, previously advocated for use in small thumb defects only, has been successfully used as a large wraparound flap in two cases. In one of these it was used with free bone graft to increase the length of the thumb and an excellent functional result was achieved.