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Hand Surgeon Replaces Missing Thumb With Big Toe

Posted by floriza in Hand Surgery

A 29-year-old man from Bristol, England recently received hand surgery that replaced a missing thumb with one of his big toes. He lost his thumb while operating a saw, attempting to cut through wood.

The hand surgeons tried to reattach the man’s thumb, but the blood supply would not flow into the severed finger. Because the man works with his hands, he feared that he would be permanently disabled. While his movement is somewhat limited with the toe functioning as a thumb, doctors and patient are hopeful that the attachment of the digit will allow him to continue in his profession.

Final Prognosis is Still Uncertain

Part of the patient’s recovery process, of course, involves learning how to walk properly with a big toe missing from one of his feet. This requires a new way of balancing. Nevertheless, the hand surgeons expect that the man will be able to walk and even jog.

Additional surgery may be conducted by plastic surgeons to help the toe to look more like a natural thumb.

What is Hand Surgery?

Hand surgeons are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the complex diagnosis and repair of injuries and deformities of the hands and fingers, as well as the wrists and forearms. These injuries can occur from accidents or repetitive movements. People who work in fields that overwork the hands or wrists frequently suffer from injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be repaired by hand surgery.

Common deformities include syndactyly, which involves fingers that are partially fused together, and polydactyly, in which the patient has more than five fingers on one or both hands. In these conditions, the surgeon can correct the fusing or remove the excess fingers. Plastic surgeons sometimes assist to create as natural a look to the hands and arms as possible. People with arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, often suffer from deformities as a result of their disease. These can frequently be corrected or improved through hand surgery.

The hands are a very intricate part of the body with a large number of tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that flow through relatively small areas. An injury to even one small area of the hand can affect an individual’s ability to use it. Hand surgeons in New Jersey, New York, and other parts of the country repair skin, tendons, nerves, and bones in the hands, working hard to restore as much function as possible while also maintaining or restoring an aesthetic, natural look to the hands.


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