Less than ten--surgeons with amputated fingers

J Hand Surg Am. 1982 Jan;7(1):31-7. doi: 10.1016/s0363-5023(82)80010-5.


One hundred eighty-three surgeons who had lost parts of their hands were surveyed. Surgeons were chosen because they are highly motivated individuals, dependent on manual function for their livelihood. Loss ranged from a fingertip to an entire hand. Twenty-nine of those surveyed had lost significant parts of a thumb, and 28 had multiple-digit loss. Half had sustained their loss after becoming surgeons. The most common cause of loss was trauma. Only three claimed any significant professional disability; all others continued to practice operative surgery. Some even claimed that their loss resulted in professional advantage. Most stressed that acceptance, adaptation, and incentive were dominant factors in returning an injured or deficient hand to useful function. The conclusion from their responses is that motivation of the patient is more important to hand function than the actual number of digits.

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Amputation, Traumatic / psychology
  • Amputation, Traumatic / rehabilitation
  • Finger Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Finger Injuries / psychology
  • Finger Injuries / rehabilitation
  • General Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Thumb / injuries
  • United States