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Ann Plast Surg. 2011 Feb;66(2):137-42. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181e6cfd9.

Index finger pollicization in the treatment of congenitally deficient thumb.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ioannina Medical School, Ioannina, Greece.


Congenital deficiency of the thumb greatly compromises hand function, because the normal thumb contributes at least 40% of its usefulness. The method of choice in the treatment of this functional liability is the pollicization of the index finger. This study presents the long term outcome of 21 index finger pollicizations in 18 patients, with a mean follow-up time of 9 years. The thumb deficiency was bilateral in 3 patients, whereas in 7 it was associated with radial club hand. The result was considered excellent in 75%, good in 19%, and poor in 6% of the 21 pollicizations, according to Percival's scoring system. The less rewarding function was obtained in the presence of associated radial club hand in combination with late reconstruction. Index finger pollicization is the method of choice in the treatment of thumb aplasia or severe hypoplasia. The younger patients adapt easier and use the new thumb in a more natural way.

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