Long-term outcome of replantation of proximal-third amputated arm: a worthwhile endeavor

Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2007 Dec;11(4):231-5. doi: 10.1097/bth.0b013e318070c716.


We report a successful replantation of a proximal-third avulsed left arm in a 26-year-old female with maintenance of good functional, clinical, Short Form 36, and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand outcomes results at 10 years. An organized approach combining staged surgical reconstruction and intense hand therapy allowed for both successful replantation and outcome. There exist no clear guidelines in making the decision between replantation and revision amputation. Controversy regarding the value of upper limb replantation seems to increase with ascending levels of amputation. A case report cannot provide guidelines, but several points can be made that may be of help to hand surgeons confronting this uncommon situation. In a highly motivated patient with realistic expectation, a preoperatively intact functioning shoulder should be considered an indication for attempt at replantation. With further staged reconstruction, a helper arm can still be achieved even in an avulsion-type amputation. Current operative and perioperative aspects of microsurgical replantation and subsequent reconstruction are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Amputation, Traumatic / surgery*
  • Arm / surgery*
  • Arm Injuries / surgery*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Replantation*
  • Rotation
  • Surgical Flaps