Salvage of the Mutilated Upper Extremity with Temporary Ectopic Implantation of the Undamaged Part

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A method of salvage of mutilated extremities with temporary ectopic implantation of the undamaged distal part is described. We suggest that this method is indicated in devastating segmental injuries of extremities, where the distal part is devascularized and where a necessary radical debridement would include the structures which are indispensable for a good functional result of the replantation but which would possibly survive if treated with an open-wound technique. The method could also be used in cases where an essential length of limb could be preserved by open-wound management with improvement of the functional and aesthetic result of replantation. The method is contraindicated in injuries where perfusion of the distal part is preserved. The lateral upper part of the thorax is suggested as a convenient site, with the thoracodorsal artery and vein as recipient vessels. The timing of replantation of the ectopic implanted part must be carefully planned to avoid complications caused by remaining necrotic tissues or infection. The importance of intensive physiotherapy of the ectopic implanted part is stressed.

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