The great advantages of the radial forearm fasciocutaneous flap are offset by the dilemmas associated with its donor site. The most commonly encountered problems are the functional and cosmetic sequelae of skin graft loss with consequent exposure of volar forearm tendons, the superficial sensory branch of the radial nerve, and the radius. Techniques that minimize donor site morbidity are those that provide a well-vascularized bed for the protection of exposed tendon, nerve, and bone, and for the acceptance of skin grafts. A technique involving the mobilization of the flexor pollicis longus muscle belly in conjunction with the abductor pollicis longus with approximation to the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle belly provides stable, well-vascularized coverage of the radial forearm flap donor site, with reliable skin graft acceptance and no functional sequelae.
Kolker AR, Coombs CJ, Meara JG. A method for minimizing donor site complications of the radial forearm flap. Ann Plast Surg 2000;45:329-331