Alternatives to thumb replantation

Christoph Heitmann, L Scott Levin
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2002, 110 (6): 1492-503; quiz 1504-5
After studying this article, the participant should: 1. Have a variety of options for thumb reconstruction. 2. Know the advantages and disadvantages of the nonmicrosurgical and microsurgical techniques for thumb reconstruction. 3. Understand the decision making from the variety of thumb reconstruction techniques based on patient needs. 4. Have a basic understanding of the various thumb reconstruction techniques discussed. The traumatic amputation of the thumb is an absolute indication for attempted replantation. The profound disability of the hand resulting from absence of the thumb, with loss of pinch and grasp, obliges the surgeon to make every attempt to replant the amputated thumb and preserve hand function. However, not all attempts at replantation result in survival of the amputated portion, and unreconstructable damage to or complete loss of the amputated part may preclude attempted replantation. In such situations, the surgeon must have alternative methods of dealing with the sequelae of thumb loss. This article will discuss nonmicrosurgical and microsurgical techniques for thumb reconstruction.

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