OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to introduce the feasibility of fingertip reconstruction by using a free medial flap of the second toe without vein anastomosis. METHODS: In total, 8 patients with fingertip injuries were treated successfully with this method. Patients who underwent reconstruction from September 2016 to October 2017 in our hospital with an artery-only free medial flap transfer of the second toe for fingertip injuries were included, and patients who underwent additional procedures that may impact the postoperative results and were followed up for less than 6 months were excluded. Clinical trial registration: ChiCTR19000021883. RESULTS: According to the Allen classification, five patients had Type 3 injuries, and three patients had Type 4 injuries. One arterial nerve and one digital nerve were repaired at the same time. No additional dissection was performed in either the donor or recipient site of the dorsal or volar vein. Postoperative venous congestion was monitored based on the color, temperature and the degree of tissue oxygen saturation. The flap size ranged from 1.20*1.0 cm2 to 1.80*1.0 cm2. The reconstruction time was 71.86 (SD 14.75) minutes. The two-point discrimination and the monofilament results were satisfying; cold intolerance did not appear in five patients, and the other three patients had cold intolerance with grades of 4, 12 and 26, which were considered satisfactory. Moreover, leech therapy, continuous bleeding and needle sutures were not utilized in any cases. CONCLUSIONS: Reconstruction with a small artery-only free medial flap transfer of the second toe led to satisfactory sensory and motor function in the selected patients with fingertip injuries.
OBJECTIVE:In gracilis functioning free muscle transplantation, the limited caliber of the dominant vascular pedicle increases the complexity of the anastomosis and the risk of vascular compromise. The purpose of this study was to characterize the results of using a T-shaped vascular pedicle for flow-through anastomosis in gracilis functioning free muscle transplantation for brachial plexus injury.METHODS:The outcomes of patients with brachial plexus injury who received gracilis functioning free muscle transplantation with either conventional end-to-end anastomosis or flow-through anastomosis from 2005 to 2013 were retrospectively compared. In the flow-through group, the pedicle comprised a segment of the profunda femoris and the nutrient artery of the gracilis. The recipient artery was interposed by the T-shaped pedicle.RESULTS:A total of 46 patients received flow-through anastomosis, and 25 patients received conventional end-to-end anastomosis. The surgical time was similar between the groups. The diameter of the arterial anastomosis in the flow-through group was significantly larger than that in the end-to-end group (3.87 mm vs. 2.06 mm, respectively, p<0.001), and there were significantly fewer cases of vascular compromise in the flow-through group (2 [4.35%] vs. 6 [24%], respectively, p=0.019). All flaps in the flow-through group survived, whereas 2 in the end-to-end group failed. Minimal donor-site morbidity was noted in both groups.CONCLUSIONS:Flow-through anastomosis in gracilis functioning free muscle transplantation for brachial plexus injury can decrease the complexity of anastomosis, reduce the risk of flap loss, and allow for more variation in muscle placement.