Digit replantation: experience of two U.S. academic level-I trauma centers

Duretti Fufa, Ryan Calfee, Lindley Wall, Wenjing Zeng, Charles Goldfarb
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2013 December 4, 95 (23): 2127-34

BACKGROUND: Despite advances in microsurgery, digit replantation now is performed less frequently in the U.S. compared with fifteen years ago. There has been uncertainty regarding whether previously reported U.S. replantation success rates and results reported from other countries reflect the current experience in the U.S. We hypothesized that the success of digit replantation at two academic level-I referral hospitals in the U.S. would be similar to previously published results.

METHODS: In this retrospective case series, we examined all cases of digit replantation that were performed from 1997 through 2010 at two institutions. The cumulative rate of viable digit replantations was determined. Binary logistic regression modeling determined the relative impact of patient, injury, and operative factors on replantation survival.

RESULTS: During the study period, 135 digit replantations were performed in 106 patients. Fourteen cases did not meet our inclusion criteria, yielding a cohort of 121 replantations. The thumb (n = 40) was the most commonly replanted digit, followed by the long finger (n = 31). The mechanism of injury was classified as sharp in eighty-three digits, crush in nineteen digits, and avulsion in eighteen digits. The majority of replantations were performed following Tamai level-III (n = 49) or level-IV (n = 56) amputations. Sixty-nine (57%) of the digit replantation procedures were successful. Logistic regression analysis identified replantation of the radial three digits and no history of tobacco use as significant independent predictors of replantation success.

CONCLUSIONS: The rate of success of digit replantation (57%) at two academic level-I trauma hospitals was lower than previously published rates. Radial-digit involvement and no prior tobacco use were associated with replantation success. This modest success rate reflects a need for additional evaluation of our current benchmarks and clinical settings for replantation surgery. These data help to better inform patients, families, and physicians who are considering digit replantation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.