Man's Toe Transplanted to Replace Lost Thumb

An Australian man's toe was surgically transplanted onto his hand to replace a thumb he lost earlier this year.

Zac Mitchell, 20, suffered the thumb injury in April while working on a farm in Western Australia. Attempts to save the thumb failed, BBC News reported.

He had the whole toe transplant surgery at the Sydney Eye Hospital two weeks ago. He'll require more than 12 months of rehabilitation but plans to return to farm work.

It's rare to transplant a complete toe, but partial toe transplants are more common, according to the hospital.

"It is a bit of a crazy idea - they [patients] do not want to be injured in another part of their body," said lead plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Nicklin, BBC News reported.

"[However] even if you have got four good fingers, if you do not have something to pinch against them, your hand has lost a huge amount of its function," he explained.

"A lot of people think their balance and walking is going to be significantly affected which it generally isn't," Nicklin said.

Doctors said Mitchell should be able to return to his hobby of bull riding, BBC News reported.

MedicalNews
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