Treatment of posttraumatic fingertip pain using a great toe pulp graft.
ABSTRACT Complications of fingertip injury include pain, hyper- or dyssensitivity, cold intolerance, and fingertip atrophy. Especially in cases of soft-tissue defect or atrophy which result from crushing injury, fingertip pain often occurs when a finger touches the objects. To overcome this problem, several techniques including local flaps or free flaps were suggested. But these methods require intricate and multistaged procedures.Twelve patients who had fingertip pain with pulp atrophy were treated with pulp graft between March 2004 and March 2006. Under the local anesthesia, we made a fish-mouth incision at the most prominent portion of fingertip and elevated volar flaps. Composite tissue was harvested from the lateral aspect of great toe, and inserted between the previously elevated volar flaps. The harvested composite pulp tissue contained about 3- to 5-mm thick fat layer. Moisture dressing was performed. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to evaluate the degree of pain postoperatively. The follow-up period was in the range between the 12 and 24 months (average, 19 months). Pre- and postoperative differences in VAS scores were analyzed for statistical significance, using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. In addition, patients were asked about their level of satisfaction with the procedure. To evaluate the postoperative sensation of the graft, we performed the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test, and static and dynamic 2-point discrimination test at 1 year postoperatively.The size of the graft was ranged from 276 mm (12 × 23 mm) to 750 mm (25 × 30 mm). At final follow-up review, 5 patients were very satisfied and 7 were satisfied. Atrophy of the fingertip was also improved. Fingertip pain reduced from 8.5 preoperative to 3.1 postoperative on VAS. These improvements were statistically significant. Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test was green (∼2.83) in 9 patients (75%) and blue (3.22-3.61) in 3 of 12 patients (25%). Static and dynamic 2-point discrimination test results came out as 6 and 5 mm, respectively.Composite graft applied to the fingertip is a simple technique, and gives few complications. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and gives a fairly high degree of satisfaction to patients. We believe this method is useful for treating fingertip pain with atrophy of pulp.