Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of cross finger flap pedicled with the dorsal branch of proper digital artery in repairing degloving injury of the fingertip.
Methods: Between January 2010 and June 2012, 13 cases of degloving injury of single fingertip were treated, including 9 males and 4 females with an average age of 33.6 years (range, 17-46 years). The defect locations were index finger in 5 cases, middle finger in 3 cases, ring finger in 3 cases, and little finger in 2 cases, including 4 cases of mechanical injury, 6 cases of twist injury, and 3 cases of crushing injury. The extent of skin avulsion was beyond the distal interphalangeal joint. The length of the avulsion was 1.0-2.1 cm (mean, 1.8 cm). Complicated injuries included phalangeal fracture in 2 cases. The time from injury to operation was 90-330 minutes (mean, 150 minutes). The wound was repaired with the cross finger flap pedicled with the dorsal branch of proper digital artery. The size of flaps ranged from 3.2 cm x 2.3 cm to 4.2 cm x 3.1 cm. After 3-4 weeks, the pedicle was cut. The donors were closed by skin graft.
Results: Tension blisters of the flap and partial necrosis of skin graft occurred in 3 cases and in 1 case respectively, which were cured after symptomatic treatment; the flap and skin graft survived, and primary healing was obtained in the other cases. Thirteen patients were followed up 6-10 months (mean, 7 months). The texture and appearance of all the flaps were satisfactory. At 6 months after operation, two-point discrimination ranged from 7 to 10 mm (mean, 8.1 mm). The total active movement of the fingers were excellent in 10 cases and good in 3 cases, and the excellent and good rate was 100%.
Conclusion: The treatment of degloving injury of fingertip with the cross finger flap pedicled with the dorsal branch of proper digital artery is recommendable for the advantages of reliable blood supply, simple operation, high survival rate of the flap, good function recovery of the finger, and satisfactory appearance.