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The Composite Moberg Flap for Reconstruction of Complex Thumb Tip Injuries

Kandamany, Nanda M.R.C.S.; Naasan, Anas F.R.C.S.(Plast.)

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: February 2014 - Volume 133 - Issue 2 - p 235e–236e
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000437237.46047.c0

Department of Plastic Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, United Kingdom

Correspondence to Dr. Kandamany, Department of Plastic Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, United Kingdom,

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Partial or complete amputation of the thumb is extremely common and leads to significant impairment of hand function.1 Reconstruction is often challenging, and preservation of length, restoration of sensation, and stable soft-tissue coverage remain the goals of any reconstructive procedure. In 1964, Moberg described the palmar advancement flap to meet these goals.2 This flap was then later described for the coverage of defects less than or equal to 2 cm in longitudinal diameter at the palmar tip of the thumb,3 along with various modifications mainly to extend the possible mobilization of the flap.4 In oblique injuries, there is often a need to further shorten the remaining distal phalanx and nail bed to fashion a well-rounded tip and to allow suture of the flap distally to the nail bed. To minimize further shortening of the thumb, we describe the novel use of a composite Moberg flap that includes distal phalanx and nail bed matrix in reconstructing these defects.

A Moberg flap is designed and raised under general anaesthesia with tourniquet control. A small triangular segment of distal phalanx and nail bed matrix from the contralateral side of injury is included in the advancement flap and “flipped” into the defect (Fig. 1). The nail bed is repaired with a fine absorbable suture and the surrounding skin is trimmed to fashion a well-rounded tip and secured with nonabsorbable sutures. Excellent sensitivity and functionality are seen 12 months after surgery, with preservation of thumb length and normal nail growth. We have found this simple and elegant modification of the standard Moberg flap to be an excellent choice when faced with reconstructing complex injuries of the thumb tip.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

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The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this communication.

Nanda Kandamany, M.R.C.S.

Anas Naasan, F.R.C.S.(Plast.)

Department of Plastic Surgery

Ninewells Hospital

Dundee, United Kingdom

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1. Jones JM, Schenck RR, Chesney RB. Digital replantation and amputation: Comparison of function. J Hand Surg Am. 1982;7:183–189
2. Moberg E. Aspects of sensation in reconstructive surgery of the upper extremity. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1964;46:817–825
3. Kleinman WB, Strickland JWGreen DP, Hotchkiss R, Pederson WC. Thumb reconstruction. Operative Hand Surgery. 19994th ed New York Churchill Livingstone:2068–2170 In:
4. Dellon AL. The extended palmar advancement flap. J Hand Surg Am. 1983;8:190–194
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