Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgeons having more success reattaching fingers and thumbs

Date:
January 23, 2012
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Each year, thousands of Americans lose fingers and/or thumbs in accidents. Many are do-it-yourselfers. Hand surgeons are having better results reattaching digits, due to better techniques, surgical instruments and microscopes.

Tom Thompson nearly lost his left thumb and index finger in a power saw injury, but Loyola University Medical Center hand surgeon Dr. Randy Bindra was able to restore circulation and function to the mangled digits in a delicate 5 hour surgery.

After undergoing three follow-up surgeries and highly specialized occupational therapy at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, Thompson says his thumb and finger have regained 60 percent to 70 percent of their original function.

He can't bend the middle joint of his thumb, there's less feeling in his index finger and his grip strength is reduced. But he can do many everyday activities, such as tying his shoes, buttoning his shirt and picking things up between his thumb and index finger.

"Dr. Bindra and his team performed an outstanding job," he said. "I have quite a bit of movement. And my hand looks almost completely normal, like nothing happened."

Each year, thousands of Americans lose fingers and/or thumbs. Many, like Thompson, are do-it-yourselfers, Bindra said.

Thompson was cutting wood trim with a miter saw when the accident occurred. "I was in a hurry to finish, and my concentration level dropped for just a second," he said. His index finger and thumb were almost completely severed.

On average, Bindra sees three or four cases per month in which one or more digits have been completely cut off or almost completely severed. The typical patient is a do-it-yourselfer, rather than a professional carpenter who has undergone safety training, Bindra said.

Bindra reattaches bones with tiny plates, screws and pins. He sews nerves and blood vessels together with sutures that are finer than a human hair. In Thompson's case, Bindra also took a vein from a forearm to reconnect blood supply to the thumb.

Thompson underwent occupational therapy with certified hand therapists Kim Esposito and David Spear. The therapy included, for example, exercises to stretch and bend his finger and thumb joints and open the web space between his thumb and index finger.

Thompson also received extensive education on how to reduce post-surgical swelling, keep his wound clean and change his bandages.

Hand surgeons have long been able to reattach digits. But results are improving due to better techniques and more sophisticated surgical instruments and microscopes, Bindra said.

Bindra said a finger or thumb can be reattached within 12 to 24 hours of an accident. The digit should be wrapped in a clean cloth and put in a Ziploc bag, and the bag should be submerged in ice water.

Of course, it's best not to get injured in the first place. Before he retired, Thompson was involved with operating power tools for many years. "Always stay focused and pay attention -- and never hurry when operating power tools," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Surgeons having more success reattaching fingers and thumbs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123114252.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2012, January 23). Surgeons having more success reattaching fingers and thumbs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123114252.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Surgeons having more success reattaching fingers and thumbs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123114252.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins