The introduction of the microscope has helped magnify the surgical field and allowed surgeon to do greater things. With the introduction of microsurgery, micro-reconstructive surgeons can now transfer tissues from one part of the body to another to replace loss.
One of the more common microsurgical reconstructions seen in hand surgery is the transfer of toes to the hand to replace loss of the digits. This is particularly useful when using the toe to replace a loss thumb. This is because the thumb is equivalent to about 50 per cent of the hand function.
Below is a young man who lost his thumb in a meat grinder and had opted for a big toe to thumb transfer. The important thing in a toe to thumb transfer is to make sure that the transferred toe looks exactly like the thumb otherwise the patient may find it difficult to use.
The right image shows a hand with loss of the thumb at proximal phalangeal level. The left image shows the right big toe is being harvested.
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Aftercare: Prevention of Complications