Radial vs ulnar forearm flap: a preliminary study of donor site morbidity
The objective of this study was to compare donor site morbidity after reconstructive surgery with Ulnar Forearm Free Flap (UFFF) and Radial Forearm Free Flap (RFFF) with subjective methods. The UFFF and the RFFF were applied for reconstruction of soft tissue defects of the head and neck region in 30 patients (20 M and 10 F; age range 28-75 years) affected by head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire was used to assess morbidity of the donor site. Analysis of the patients’ DASH scores showed an overall median DASH total score of 9.17. No significant differences were observed for median values of the RFFF and UFFF groups (7.14 vs 10 respectively) or for the values in males and females (5 vs 13.3 respectively). The UFFF can be considered a valid alternative to the RFFF for reconstruction of soft tissue defects of the head and neck area; it is safe, easy to harvest and is not associated with major morbidities of the donor site as demonstrated by the DASH questionnaire.