Free fascia temporalis interpositioning as a treatment for wrist ankylosis

Willy D. Boeckx, Francesca De Lorenzi, R. R W J Van der Hulst, John H. Sawor, T. Van de Kar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fascia temporalis is a thin and well-vascularized tissue and, for this reason, its use in reconstructive surgery is versatile. It can be used as an island flap in defects of the head and neck or as a free flap in reconstructions of different anatomic regions. As a "living" spacer in the treatment of wrist ankylosis, its use has not yet been described. The authors present the transfer of the free fascia temporalis into the wrist as a treatment of wrist ankylosis in patients affected by severe rheumatoid arthritis. Four flaps in three patients were performed. Preoperative flexion/extension in the wrist was absent or almost absent and painful, resulting in severely impaired daily activities. After resection of the distal ulna, distal radius, and the proximal surfaces of the proximal row of the carpal bones was performed, the free fascia was used to replace the wrist joint. Postoperative wrist flexion/extension was 45 to 50 degrees on average. In all patients, this procedure allowed painless motion of the wrist, and in all patients, daily activities were improved. A 2-year follow up showed no recurrence of wrist problems and a maintained articular space. In the treatment of wrist ankylosis, the use of the free fascia temporalis offers a good alternative to arthrodesis, maintaining sufficient function for daily activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reconstructive Microsurgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Fascia temporalis interposition
  • Wrist ankylosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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