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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 357-365

Transplantation of a free vascularized joint flap from the second toe for the acute reconstruction of defects in the thumb and other fingers


Department of Orthopaedics, Ruihua Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ruixing Hou
Department of Orthopaedics, Ruihua Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, No. 5 Tayun Road, Wuzhong District, Suzhou 215104
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_200_17

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Background: This study aimed to evaluate a novel surgical method for the acute reconstruction of defects in the thumb and other fingers by transplanting a free vascularized joint flap from the second toe and to determine its clinical curative effects. Materials and Methods: A free vascularized joint flap from the second toe was transplanted to reconstruct a complete defect of the thumb and other fingers accompanied by the loss of the proximal finger in 10 patients. Of these patients, three had their thumbs reconstructed with a free vascularized joint flap from the second toe and with the proximal interphalangeal joint flap, one had a thumb reconstructed with a free vascularized joint flap from the second toe, and six had their finger defects reconstructed with the proximal interphalangeal joint flap. The toes of the metatarsophalangeal joint were amputated at the foot donor site. All patients underwent one-stage emergency surgery. Results: The composite tissue flaps, replanted thumbs, and fingers survived well in all 10 cases. Follow-up visits were conducted for 6–28 months, with an average of 9 months of follow-up. The transplanted bone joints healed over a period of 6–16 weeks. Bone nonunions and refractures did not occur, and the walking function of the foot donor site was not visibly affected. Conclusion: A free vascularized joint flap from the second toe can be transplanted to repair defects in the thumb and other fingers. This technique can be applied to recover the appearance and function of fingers.


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