Technical modifications and extended applications of the distally based adipofascial flap for dorsal digital defects.
A series of 15 cases of distally based adipofascial flaps to cover dorsal digital defects is presented. All flaps were raised just superficial to the dorsal veins (and hence preserving some fat with the reflected flaps) rather than raising them at the subdermal plane. In 3 cases where there was another injury proximal to the defect, which precluded the use of an adipofascial turnover flap from the injured digit, a distally based cross-finger adipofascial flap was used from the adjacent finger. In 4 cases, the flap was used to cover compound fractures. The results showed complete survival of all flaps without loss of the overlying skin graft and without epidermolysis of the donor skin, indicating that raising the flap just superficial to the dorsal veins does not affect the reliability of its blood supply, and yet it enhances the blood supply of the reflected skin flaps. The series also showed uneventful healing of compound fractures covered by the flap, indicating flap reliability to cover exposed fractures. Finally, the study demonstrated the feasibility of using the flap as a cross-finger flap.