Use of the deltoid branch-based clavicular head of pectoralis major muscle flap in isolated sternoclavicular infections

Faisal Al-Mufarrej, Jorys Martinez-Jorge, Brian T. Carlsen, Michel Saint-Cyr, Steven L. Moran, Samir Mardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background The pectoralis major (PM) flap is the workhorse flap for acute, sub-acute and chronic sternoclavicular infections (SCIs). Attempts at using only the clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscle (CPM), based on internal mammary perforators or the thoracoacromial artery, have been reported. We describe the harvest of a deltoid branch-based flap (CPM-DTA) and examine its use in managing a series of isolated, acute and sub-acute sternoclavicular infections. Methods From 2007 to 2012, 28 subjects with SCI underwent PM flaps at our institution. Six were excluded for extensive chest wall involvement, and four were excluded from chronic osteomyelitis (5 months of infection or greater). Of the remaining 18 patients with isolated SCI, 12 underwent traditional PM flaps (Group-A), while six underwent CPM-DTA (Group-B). Features studied include age, gender, co-morbidities, culture, need for intra-operative extension of the sternoclavicular incision, postoperative complications, wound healing, time from infection onset to debridement, length of hospital stay, postoperative chest wall contour deformity and follow-up. Results Infections resolved and wounds healed in all patients following a single reconstructive procedure. Intra-operative need for extended incisions and postoperative ipsilateral anterior chest wall contour deformity are noted in all Group-A subjects but in no Group-B subjects. Conclusion In patients with isolated, acute and sub-acute SCI, the CPM-DTA flap achieves effective wound closure while avoiding large sternal incisions and the morbidity associated with standard PM muscle harvest. Harvesting the CPM-DTA flap preserves the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major muscle and its thoracoacromial pedicle. This preserves the muscle for future flap use if necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1702-1711
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Clavicular head
  • Infection
  • Pectoralis muscle flap
  • Sternoclavicular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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