To introduce our experiences of using the flap based on the distal cutaneous branch of the ulnar artery
Twenty-four patients sought surgical treatment for soft tissue defects of the hand
at our medical institution between January 2003 and December 2008. Fifteen cases had soft tissue defect
on the palmar aspect of the hand
, and nine cases had soft tissue defects on the dorsal aspect of the hand
. The flap based on the distal cutaneous branch of the ulnar artery
was performed in all these patients. The size of the flaps ranged from 5 cm to 12 cm in length and from 4 cm to 8 cm in width.
Two flaps developed partial necrosis (25–35% of their area). In the other cases, both the donor and recipient sites healed successfully. No patient complained of cold intolerance of the hand
or any altered sensation in the forearm. The range of motion of the wrist and hand
joints was within normal limits in most cases, with 14 cases with excellent, 8 cases with good, 2 cases with fair, and 0 case with poor results according to the total active motion (TAM) criteria. None of the patients had limitations in activities of daily living.
Because the flap does not compromise the dominant hand
arteries and provides a reliable blood supply, it is a good choice for soft tissue reconstruction of defects in the dorsal and palmar aspects of the hand