Vascularized Toe Joint Transfer to the Hand


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Abstract

From 1984 to 1993, 36 vascularized toe joints were transferred in 33 patients. The present study group excludes 3 toe joint transfers to elbow and temporomandibular joints and 4 toe joint to hand transfers lost to follow-up. The final study group includes 29 vascularized toe joint transfers in 27 patients, 21 males and 6 females. All were performed for posttraumatic reconstruction, except one transfer for congenital deformity. Follow-up averaged 32.4 months. Mean range of motion was 34 degrees in toe metatarsophalangeal joint to hand metacarpophalangeal joint transfers, 32 degrees in toe proximal interphalangeal joint to hand metacarpophalangeal joint transfers, and 24 degrees in toe proximal interphalangeal joint to hand proximal interphalangeal joint transfers. Although vascularized toe joint transfer is an alternative to arthrodesis, in order to have a greater range of motion than average, the patient must have well-functioning muscle and associated tendons effecting joint motion. Good results were obtained in two immediate free vascularized toe joint transfers to complex injuries involving loss of the metacarpophalangeal joint. We encourage toe joint transfer in selected complex hand injuries.

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