Hypothenar hammer syndrome after radial forearm flap harvest: A case report

J. P. Higgins, G. S. Orlando, P. Chang, J. M. Serletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A case of acute hypothenar hammer syndrome (HHS) in a high-risk laborer in whom the radial artery had been surgically removed during a prior radial forearm flap harvest is reported. Studies estimating the true incidence of HHS among laborers are reviewed to define the risk of this complication. Two major risk factors must be considered in the assessment of a patient for radial forearm flap harvest. First, the risk for immediate vascular compromise is determined by using a standard Allen's test to assess ulnar artery contribution to hand perfusion. Second, the risk for future vascular compromise is determined. When patients at high risk for HHS are recognized the surgeon should consider other reconstructive alternatives. If the superficial palmar arch is patent and complete and a radial forearm flap is performed, postoperative activity modification and risk counseling should be provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-775
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Allen's test
  • Hypothenar hammer syndrome
  • Radial forearm flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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