Four patients were treated successfully with a simple modification of the standard radial forearm free flap. The flexor carpi radialis was harvested along with the radial artery vascular pedicle and forearm skin, producing a tennis racket-shaped flap. The entire flexor carpi radialis can be transferred based on radial artery perforators that enter the distal half of the muscle. The flexor carpi radialis can extend the versatility of the radial forearm free flap, principally by providing good-quality coverage of the vascular anastomoses.
A fresh-frozen cadaver study demonstrated multiple radial artery branches to the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) muscle. Four difficult wounds were successfully reconstructed with free radial artery flaps with the FCR included to gain the protective advantage of muscle in the base of the wounds.
From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL.
Received Nov 28, 2001, and
in revised form Apr 3, 2002.
Accepted for publication Apr 3, 2002.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Dumanian, Division of Plastic Surgery, 675 N. St. Clair, Suite 19-250, Chicago, IL 60611.
Presented at the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery; Cancun, Mexico; January 12, 2002.
Sukkar SM, Saulis AS, Dumanian GA. Radial forearm skin with flexor carpi radialis muscle: a useful composite free flap.