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An Alternative Approach in the Treatment of Dupuytren's Contracture Skin Defects: First Dorsal Metacarpal Artery Island Flap

Ozdemir, Oguz MD; Coskunol, E. MD; Ozalp, T. MD

Techniques in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery: March 2004 - Volume 8 - Issue 1 - p 16-20

Skin defects are often present following surgery for Dupuytren's contracture. The first dorsal metacarpal artery island flap (FDMA) has been used by others for soft tissue reconstruction about the radial and dorsal aspect of the hand, thumb and fingers. We have used it successfully to fill the skin defects often seen following palmar fasciectomy for Dupuytren's contracture. The thin nature of the flap makes it suitable for this application. The FDMA arises from the radial artery just before the radial artery enters the first dorsal interosseous muscle and divides into three branches: 1 to the thumb, 1 to the index finger (radiodorsal branch) and a muscular branch. It is the radiodorsal branch that supplies the skin over the index finger. The island flap based on this artery includes the dorsal terminal branches of the radial nerve and venae comitantes. The flap is formed to include the fascia of the first dorsal interosseous muscle to avoid injury to a possible deep artery and to yield sufficient fat to promote venous drainage. The flap is passed subcutaneously through the first web space and sutured in place to cover the skin defect in the palm. A full thickness skin graft is used to cover the defect over the proximal phalanx of the index finger.

Departments of Orthopedics and Traumatology

Hand Surgery Divisions

Ege University

Izmir and Celal Bayar University

Manisa, Turkey

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Oguz Ozdemir, Ege Universitesi Tıp Fakultesi, Ortopedi ve Travmatoloji AD, El Cerrahisi Bolumu, Bornova—Izmir, Turkey. E-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.