The boomerang flap in managing injuries of the dorsum of the distal phalanx

S. L. Chen, T. D. Chou, S. G. Chen, T. Y. Cheng, T. M. Chen, H. J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Finding an appropriate soft-tissue grafting material to close a wound located over the dorsum of a finger, especially the distal phalanx, can be a difficult task. The boomerang flap mobilized from the dorsum of the proximal phalanx of an adjacent digit can be useful when applied as an island pedicle skin flap. The vascular supply to the skin flap is derived from the retrograde perfusion of the dorsal digital artery. Mobilization and lengthening of the vascular pedicle are achieved by dividing the distal end of the dorsal metacarpal artery at the bifurcation and incorporating two adjacent dorsal digital arteries into one. The boomerang flap was used in seven individuals with injuries involving the dorsal aspect of the distal phalanx over the past year. Skin defects in all patients were combined with bone, joint, or tendon exposure. The authors found that the flap was reliable and technically simple to design and execute. This one-step procedure preserves the proper palmar digital artery to the fingertip and has proven valuable for the coverage of wide and distal defects because it has the advantages of an extended skin paddle and a lengthened vascular pedicle. When conventional local flaps are inadequate, the boomerang flap should be considered for its reliability and low associated morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-839
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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