Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 7, P835-848, July 2007

Present technique and long-term results of toe-to-antebrachial stump transplantation

  • Simo K. Vilkki
    Corresponding author. Address: Department of Hand and Microsurgery, Tampere University Hospital, Box 2000, 5 kerros, FIN-33521 Tampere, Finland. Tel.: +358 3 31164613; fax: +358 3 2661557.
    Department of Hand and Microsurgery, Tampere University Hospital, FIN 33521 Tampere, Finland
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  • Tero Kotkansalo
    Department of Hand and Microsurgery, Tampere University Hospital, FIN 33521 Tampere, Finland
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Published:April 24, 2007DOI:


      Complete hand amputation has been considered conventionally as an indication for the use of mechanical prosthetic devices in order to regain some hand like function.
      A microsurgical option to create a new pinching ability after wrist amputation has been used in a series of 13 patients. The actual operation technique is presented in detail. It was designed by the senior author in 1981 and applied into clinical use in 1983. In order to evaluate the functional results and patient satisfaction in long-term, a questionnaire was sent to 12 patients and 11 patients were interviewed, examined clinically and studied with a hand function scoring test according Sollerman. The operated series consist of 12 adults with posttraumatic distal antebrachial or wrist amputations and 1 adolescent boy with a congenital wrist level amputation. There were 3 females and 10 males in the series. The satisfaction to achieved result was generally good.
      The ADL section of Tamai score and the one we used correlated well with each other and patient satisfaction. Sollerman hand function test gave worse results in two blind patients and same occurred in two short antebrachial stump patients. However the satisfaction was much better in Tamai score among blind patients, with wrist amputation level amputations. In our opinion this single toe transfer method gives an acceptable pinch reconstruction for hand amputation patients. We measured pinch strength and total active motion. They averaged about half of the normal values. The reconstruction is suitable to the patients, who are not willing to donate multiple toes or who are aware and concerned about the risks of human hand transplantation, which necessarily will need a life-long immunosuppressive medication to prevent from rejection.


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