Phantom Finger Phenomena and the Effects of Toe-to-Finger Transplantation

Nai Shin Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


Phantom finger phenomena and the effects of toe-to-finger transplantation were studied in 76 patients who had had traumatic finger amputation. Phantom finger phenomena were observed in 48 (63%) patients with the presence of phantom finger only in 30, phantom finger with sensation in nine, and phantom finger with motion also in nine. After toe transplantation, phantom finger phenomena disappeared immediately in about half of the transplanted fingers that had phantom phenomena before toe transplantation, and also in about half of the amputated fingers without the surgery. Conversely, phantom toe phenomena occurred in 13 (17%) patients. Although some patients had mild-to-moderate unpleasant phantom sensations, none had severe or distressing phantom finger pain or phantom toe pain. It is concluded that phantom phenomena occurred in both finger and toe amputations, and that toe-to-finger transplantation appeared to facilitate the disappearance of phantom phenomena not only in the transplanted fingers but also in the amputated but untransplanted fingers. Possible mechanisms for these observations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 2000


  • Digit amputation
  • Hand injury
  • Phantom digit
  • Phantom limb
  • Toe-to-finger transplantation


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