Fingertip amputations are severe hand injuries. Their treatment must restore the sensation and metabolic activity needed for pain-free finger function. The cross-finger flap (CFF) can be used for this purpose. The goal of this study was to assess the long-term clinical outcome following use of this flap.
This was a retrospective analysis of 28 patients operated because of fingertip amputation: 16 type 3, 8 type 2 and 4 type 4. The CFF was harvested from an adjacent finger on the dorsal side of the middle phalanx down to the epitenon. A dorsopalmar hinge was preserved to ensure vascularisation. The CFF was divided an average of 18.7 days later. The following parameters were evaluated: pulp volume (injured compared to contralateral finger), presence of neuroma, occurrence of complications (necrosis, infection, and donor site morbidity), cold discomfort, static and tactile discrimination, and patient satisfaction (0 to 10 on VAS).
The average follow-up was 19.7 years; 22 patients (78.6%) were re-examined in person or contacted by telephone. The average healthy pulp to reconstructed pulp ratio was 1.03. No postoperative complications such as neuroma were found. Cold sensitivity was present in 7 patients. The flap was re-sensitised in all the patients. There was no donor site morbidity. The average patient satisfaction score was 9 (range 8–10).
Over the long-term, use of the CFF results in nearly normal fingertip metabolism, no complications and good distal sensitivity without pain or neuromas. This is a simple, reliable, long-lasting reconstruction technique.
Level of evidence
IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Fingertip amputation, Cross-finger flap, Fingertip sensitivity