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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2020 Jan;26(1):123-129. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2019.85787.

Upper extremity replantation results in our series and review of replantation indications.

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Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Office, Bursa-Turkey.
Department of Emergency and First Aid, European Vocational High School, İstanbul-Turkey.



Upper extremity amputations are usually not life-threatening, but they negatively affect the life quality of the victim. In addition to the functional disabilities of upper extremity amputation, disfigurements frequently cause psychological and social debilitations.


Between 2007-2015, fourteen cases were admitted to emergency with total major amputation of the upper extremity. All cases were male (22-45 years of age. Mean age: 29.6). Replantation was applied to all except three cases with multileveled crush injuries.


All replantations were successful. Additional interventions were needed in four cases with replantation at elbow level and replantation at the distal arm level. The postoperative functional results were evaluated. The patient's overall satisfaction, the recovery of flexor and extensor mobility, the extent of the active motion of digits, the recovery of thumb opposition, active movements of wrist and elbow joints, recovery of sensitivity in the median and ulnar nerve, the ability of the surviving hand and/or forearm to perform daily works are all evaluated. The results were satisfactory in hand replantations. However, some ulnar nerve distal motor problems were encountered in three cases with replantation at elbow level, and one case with replantation at the distal arm level with a crush injury, acceptable and excellent results were obtained in other cases.


Despite the availability of prostheses, cadaveric upper extremity replantations, replantation of the native extremity is still the most appropriate treatment for amputated cases. However, surgeons should realize that the ultimate goal is not merely to save the viability of the extremity through replantation, but rather to preserve the life quality by improving the function.

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