Replantation is the medical term for the surgical reattachment of a body part that has been completely separated from the body. It differs from transplants, which also involve attaching a body part to the patient, in that the part comes from the patient. In a transplant, the body part comes from another person. Replantation of the thumb is a common procedure that has helped many people in various situations.
What Does Replantation of the Thumb Involve?
The patient will need to be stabilized and their severed thumb cleaned before it can be replanted. The thumb should be rinsed to remove dirt, grass, etc. In the vast majority of cases, replantation surgery needs to be performed as quickly as possible. Replantation of the thumb can involve several different techniques, and the techniques used will depend on the situation.
The surgeon may need to use grafts or tissue spacers during certain steps of the procedure. Afterwards, the patient will spend some time recovering while the surgical team closely monitors their recovery.
What Does the Recovery Involve?
The amount of use the patient regains depends on how well the nerves grow and reattach themselves. It typically takes about a month for a nerve to grow an inch. The number of inches between the injury and the tip of the thumb can, thus, provide a rough estimate of how long it will be before the patient regains sensation in their thumb-tip.
During the recovery process, the patient should do what they can to encourage circulation to the reattached thumb. Since smoking impairs circulation, they should not smoke. They should also keep their thumb elevated above their heart to boost circulation. It is important to follow our team’s instructions regarding healing for optimal results. The patient may need to undergo physical therapy to restore their range of motion, prevent the joints from getting stiff and keep their muscles from getting atrophied.
Learn More About Replantation of the Thumb
Replantation of the thumb has the potential to significantly improve a person’s quality of life. This is because the thumb is a very important part of the hand, as well as the entire body. Thumbs help us to perform everyday tasks.