Spiral Wrap-Around Technique in the Reverse Radial Artery Fasciocutaneous Forearm Flap for Thumb Reconstruction: A Report of An Innovative Technique

Cureus. 2023 Dec 23;15(12):e50999. doi: 10.7759/cureus.50999. eCollection 2023 Dec.


For amputation of the thumb in any age group, microsurgical replantation is the gold standard over other osteoplastic thumb reconstruction methods as it restores the form, function, and cosmesis of the thumb better. In the osteoplastic reconstruction of the thumb, usually, a pedicled groin flap or a reverse radial artery forearm flap is used to provide the soft tissue cover, and each of these flaps has its own set of merits and demerits. The reverse radial artery forearm flap can be used as a fascial or fasciocutaneous flap in an islanded or peninsular form. Using it as a fasciocutaneous forearm flap creates a donor site secondary defect that needs skin grafting, leading to an unsightly permanent cosmetic deformity in the forearm. We report a case of a 25-year-old male patient who underwent post-traumatic near-total thumb amputation following a crush avulsion injury in whom revascularization failed, and we successfully performed osteoplastic thumb reconstruction using the same phalanges as skeletal support and the reverse radial forearm flap as soft tissue cover. We devised a novel but simple spiral wrap-around technique in the reverse pedicled fasciocutaneous flap by rearranging the dimensions, changing the length-to-width ratio to 5:1, and then wrapping this strip of flap spiraling around the bony skeleton with primary closure of the donor site.

Keywords: digital amputation; osteoplastic reconstruction; radial forearm flap; replantation; thumb.

Publication types

  • Case Reports