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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


From January 2000 to March 2004 16 thumbs after total avulsion-amputation were replanted in our hospitals. In 15 cases this was successful. In one case the thumb was lost 28 hours after replantation. Mostly the amputation was in the region of the first phalanx or the IP-joint of the thumb.

In all cases our operative procedure for this form of amputation was the reconstruction of the vessels with vein grafts after the osteosynthesis and the reconstruction of the tendons. The donorsite region for the grafts was in 12 cases the dorsal forefoot and in 4 cases the distal forearm. In none of these cases there was the possibility of reconstructing both arteries. Mostly only an anastomosis for one artery and one vein could be done. For none of these patients it was possible to reconstruct the nerves primarily. Until now transphers of neurovascular skinislands of longfingers, free nerve transplantations with coaptations to the proximal stump of the injured nerve, free nerve transplantations with coaptations to the trunk of the median nerve or in one case an end-to-side coaptation have been performed to achieve a resensibility of the thumbs. In one case a patient rejected an operative nervereconstruction, because a sprouting of the proximal stump of the injured nerve lead to a (reduced) sensibility of the thumb. In 4 cases a therapy to achieve a resensibility has so far not been carried out.

After replantations of injured thumbs necroses of the skin in different kinds were noticed. In 4 cases secondary skinreconstructions were necessary. All 15 successful replanted thumbs achieved very good results concerning function, strength and patient’s satisfaction.

Our results don’t agree with the mostly bad results after total avulsionamputations mentioned in literature. We think that the replantation after total avulsionamputation of the thumb has a high chance of being successful and can achieve very good longtime results.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.