Toe transplantation for isolated index finger amputations distal to the proximal interphalangeal joint.

F Demirkan, FC Wei, SF Jeng, SL Cheng, Chia-Hung Lin, DC Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Functional deficit following single distal index finger amputations has been considered insignificant, and reconstruction is usually not recommended. Herein, 19 cases of second toe transplantation for reconstruction of isolated index finger amputation distal to the proximal interphalangeal joint are presented with long-term functional results. There are 14 men and 5 women. The average age was 26 years. The toe transplantations were performed either as a primary procedure (5 patients) while the wounds were still open or as a secondary procedure (14 patients) after the wounds healed. In 11 patients, the dominant hand was involved. All toes survived completely, although re-exploration was required in three cases (16 percent). The functional evaluation included (1) sensory recovery, where the average static and moving two-point discrimination were 8 mm (range 4 to 15 mm) and 6 mm (range 2 to 15 mm); (2) motor function, where the average of index-thumb pulp-to-pulp pinch compared with the normal hand was 67.5 percent (range 36 to 96 percent); (3) average range of motion in index finger joints (extension/flexion), where metacarpophalangeal joint was 14/90, proximal interphalangeal joint was 0/94, and distal interphalangeal joint was 19/38; and (4) functional and cosmetic results, where percentage of involvement in daily activities and functional capacity of the reconstructed index were 69 percent and 70.5 in average, respectively, over a total score of 100. Average scores of aesthetic appearance and acceptability of donor-site deformity were 74 and 87.5 over a total score of 100, respectively. Toe transplantation for distal index finger amputations improved hand function when performed in selected patients with specific job requirements or high motivation.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)499-507
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amputation, Traumatic/surgery
  • Female
  • Finger Injuries/surgery
  • Finger Joint/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Toes/transplantation
  • Treatment Outcome


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