Fingertip Replantation: Determinants of Survival


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Abstract

Background:The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors for an unsuccessful replanted fingertip.Methods:Two hundred eleven complete fingertip amputations in 211 patients who underwent replantation surgery between August of 1990 and March of 2006 were included in this study. The patients' age, gender, smoking history, digit position, dominant hand, amputation level, injury mechanism, platelet count, ischemia time, preservation method of the amputated part, anesthesia, number of arteries repaired, venous drainage, use of vein grafting, neurorrhaphy, bone shortening, and smoking after operation were tested for their impact on fingertip survival.Results:One hundred seventy-two of 211 patients (81.5 percent) had a successful replantation. Univariate analysis showed crush or avulsion injury, high platelet count, and inappropriate preservation of the amputated part in saline solution or ethanol to be associated with a high incidence of replantation failure. Twenty-two of 54 patients (41 percent) who had a crush or avulsion trauma had failed replantation. Logistic regression analysis identified injury mechanism, platelet count, smoking after operation, preservation method of the amputated part, and the use of vein grafting as statistically significant predictive factors for success or failure.Conclusions:Injury mechanism, platelet count, smoking after operation, preservation method of amputated part, and the use of vein grafting were found to be the main predictors for the survival of the replanted fingertip. Applying external bleeding in zone 1 and venous drainage through the medullary cavity in zone 2 or venous anastomosis combined with vein grafting rather than venous anastomosis alone were strongly recommended in the fingertip replantation of crush or avulsion injury.

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