Radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap in maxillofacial and oromandibular reconstructions

J. H. Kim, E. L. Rosenthal, T. Ellis, Mark K. Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: The radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap is an excellent reconstructive modality for oromandibular and maxillofacial reconstruction in certain well-defined circumstances. The initial concern over donor site morbidity and the ability of the bone to reconstruct mandibular defects have led to only a few published series. Study Design: Retrospective study of the experience of two tertiary medical centers with radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap. Methods: Retrospectively, 52 patients were studied who underwent radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap reconstruction for cancer (49 cases) and trauma (3 cases). Bone length and skin paddle harvested, general morbidity (hematoma, wound infection, and dehiscence), recipient site morbidity (non-union of neomandible, flap failure, and bone or plate exposure), and donor site morbidity (radius bone fracture, plate exposure, and skin graft failure) were reviewed. Results: The average skin paddle size was 55.1 cm2 (range, 15-112 cm2). The average radius bone harvest length was 6.3 cm (range, 2.5-11 cm). Donor site complications included tendon exposure (3 cases), radius bone fracture (1 case), and exposure of the plate (0). Recipient site complications included nonunion of the mandible (4), exposed mandible (1), exposed mandibular plates (2), exposed maxillary plates or bone (0), venous compromise (1), and flap failure (1). Two patients had perioperative deaths. Conclusion: Radial forearm osteocutaneous free flap is a valuable and viable option for oromandibular and maxillofacial reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1697-1701
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Free flap
  • Head and neck reconstruction
  • Maxillofacial reconstruction
  • Oromandibular reconstruction
  • Radical forearm osteocutaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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