DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2349-2902.isj20201169

Soft tissue reconstruction of low voltage electric burn injuries of the thumb and first web space by the first dorsal metacarpal artery island flap: a three-year study from Eastern India

Madhumita Gupta, Prabir Kumar Jash

Abstract


Background: Complex soft tissue defects of thumb and first web space are a reconstructive challenge. Low voltage electric burns of the hand commonly result in localised and deep soft tissue destruction. The first dorsal metacarpal artery flap (FDMA) is an attractive local flap option to reconstruct these. This study illustrates our experience with the same.

Methods: Between March 2014 and February 2017, 16 patients with complex soft tissue defects of thumb and first web space resulting from low voltage electric burns underwent reconstruction with the FDMA flap and subsequent structured hand therapy. In the follow up visits objective assessment of hand function included tests of mobility using Kapandji Score, sensory evaluation with static 2 point discrimination and cortical reorientation. The Subjective Satisfaction Score was used to ascertain the patient’s overall perception of aesthetic and functional outcome.

Results: Majority (43.75%) of the patients had defects involving the thumb IP joint. No case of complete flap failure was noted. In a mean follow-up of 11.5 months the reconstructed thumb showed return of good protective sensation as well as mobility. Though cortical reorientation was complete in only 18.75 %, it did not substantially impede hand functioning. All patients were satisfied with the functional and aesthetic result.

Conclusions: In cases of low voltage electric burn injuries the FDMA flap is a reliable reconstructive option for small to moderate sized complex defects of thumb and first web space. It has minimal donor site morbidity and can be accomplished in a relatively simple single stage procedure.


Keywords


Electric burn, First web, Flap, Thumb

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