The posterior interosseous artery is located in the intermuscular septum between the extensor carpi ulnaris and extensor digiti minimi muscles. The posterior interosseous artery is anatomically united through two main anastomoses: one proximal (at the level of the distal border of the supinator muscle) and one distal (at the most distal part of the interosseous space). In the distal part, the posterior interosseous artery joins the anterior interosseous artery to form the distal anastomosis between them. The posterior interosseous flap can be widely used as a reverse flow island flap because it is perfused by anastomoses between the anterior and the posterior interosseous arteries at the level of the wrist. The flap is not reliable whenever there is injury to the distal forearm or the wrist. To circumvent this limitation and to increase the versatility of this flap, we have refined its use as a direct flow free flap. The three types of free flaps used were (1) fasciocutaneous, (2) fasciocutaneous-fascia, and (3) fascia only. Described are 23 posterior interosseous free flaps: 13 fasciocutaneous flaps, 6 fasciocutaneous-fascial flaps, and 4 fascial flaps. There were 13 sensory flaps using the posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve. The length and external diameter of the pedicle were measured in 35 cases. The length of the pedicle was on average 3.5 cm (range, 3.0 to 4.0 cm) and the external diameter of the artery averaged 2.2 mm (range, 2.0 to 2.5 mm). The hand was the recipient in 21 patients, and the foot in 2. All 23 flaps covered the defect successfully. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 100: 1186, 1997.)
Kwang Myung, Korea
From the Microsurgery and Hand Surgery Service, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kwang Myung Sung Ae General Hospital. Received for publication March 5, 1996; revised December 2, 1996.
Presented at the 36th Congress of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, in Pusan, Korea, May 8, 1994.
Jeong Joon Park, M.D.
Microsurgery and Hand Surgery Service
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Kwang Myung Sung Ae General Hospital
389, Chulsan-Dong, Kwang Myung, Kyung