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Composite upper extremity defects involving muscle-tendon units are amongst the most formidable reconstructive challenges and mandate functional restoration in addition to stable soft-tissue coverage. Here, the authors present a case of a composite defect involving the extensor muscle-tendon units of the forearm resulting from surgical resection of a recurrent Merkel cell cancer. Functional restoration was achieved via multiple tendon transfers followed by soft tissue coverage with a free anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap. No donor- or recipient-site complications were encountered and complete flap survival was noted. Following a 6-week period of immobilization, physical therapy and range of motion exercises were initiated. Excellent functional outcome and high patient satisfaction were noted at 8 weeks postoperatively. In summary, simultaneous tendon transfers and microsurgical tissue transfer may provide a potentially superior approach for upper extremity reconstruction in complex composite defects.
View details for DOI 10.1002/micr.30096
View details for Web of Science ID 000393458400012
View details for PubMedID 27580418