Toes replace lost fingers in rare surgery

According to a press release, a 10-year-old boy from Jeppinamogaru and a 23-year-old man from Kasargod had both lost their fingers while bursting crackers a few years ago. A team of doctors in A J Hospital including Head of plastic & Microvascular surgery department Dr Dinesh Kadam, plastic surgeons Dr Sanath Bhandary and Dr Rajesh, anaesthetists Dr Trivikram Tantry and Dr Murali Shankar performed successfully carried out the microvascular operations.

According to a press release, toes of the foot have similar structural and functional resemblance to the digits of the hand. Transferred toe can move like a digit and will have sensation similar to the fingers. The ‘Toe Transfer’ operation is a highly skilled microvascular surgery done with diligence where every care is taken to see that the separated toe from the foot is successfully transferred to the hand.

It involves fixation of bone, joining of blood vessels for vascularity and survival, tendons for movements and nerve for sensation.

The transferred toe is monitored round the clock for several days for its blood flow. Patient undergoes physiotherapy and rehabilitation once everything heals.

The defect at donor site of the foot is closed without obvious noticeable defect and it is hardly noticeable unless one counts the toes.

Generally second toe and occasionally great toe is taken as donor toe. It has no functional bearing on walking, standing or running. Two toes from either foot can be taken without much functional problems, the release added.

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