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Late results following avulsion injuries of the thumb

Late results following avulsion injuries of the thumb

Handchirurgie, Mikrochirurgie, Plastische Chirurgie 34(5): 314-318

Out of the 127 amputated thumbs replanted at our unit during the last 15 years, there were 27 avulsion injuries. The average age of the 24 male patients was 33 years, that of the three female patients was 34 years. 70 % of the injuries were occupational accidents. Among the 27 patients, 21 had a complete and six an incomplete avulsion of the thumb. The level of avulsion-amputation was at the MP-joint ten times, between MP and IP joint ten times and at the IP-joint seven times. The healing rate of the subtotally avulsed thumbs was 100 %, that of the completely amputated thumbs 36 %. The most important post-operative complications observed were venous and secondary arterial thrombosis, whereby most of them occurred within the first 24 hours after replantation. The duration of ischaemia had a significant influence on the healing rate. In 80 % of the cases reconstruction of nerves have been carried out secondarily. A two-point discrimination was achieved in two cases only. The osteosynthesis was done almost exclusively with K-wires. Ten of 19 patients had to change their profession, while nine of them were able to return to their previous jobs, which in these cases were pre-dominantly white collar jobs. Another patient went for early retirement (he was a painter). All 19 patients followed-up had a range of movement of their saddle joints which was sufficient for the needs of most of the activities of daily life. Stiffness of the MP and IP joints was a common finding but had little functional impact, as it has been reported by other authors previously. We conclude from the results presented that in cases of avulsion injury of the thumb replantation is a procedure with significant chances of success.

Accession: 046526754

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12494383

DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-36306

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