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Why is a finger or hand amputated?

Finger Amputation
Why is a finger or hand amputated?
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What kinds of amputations are there?

Finger Amputation
What kinds of amputations are there?
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What happens after a finger amputation?

Finger Amputation
What happens after a finger amputation?
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What is important to know about amputation in children?

Finger Amputation
What is important to know about amputation in children?
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Why is a finger or hand amputated?

Health Preservation Doctors always try to avoid amputating fingers or hands. Thanks to advances in surgical techniques, it is increasingly possible to preserve fingers and hands with most of their functions intact. However, for serious diseases or injuries, it may still be necessary to amputate to preserve your health in the long term.

The cause: accident
The most frequent causes for finger amputations are accidents (trauma). Accidents may occur at work or in your free time, for example while participating in sports or hobbies . Accidents can lead to amputation in all age groups.

Replantation – not always possible
In some cases, severed fingers or hands can be reattached (replantation). Replantation is always a difficult operation. The surgeon is faced with a highly complex task, particularly when a hand is involved, that does not always succeed. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis. For successful replantation, the severed part must reach the surgeon in nearly unchanged condition.

The severed part must be protected from moisture. Pack it in

  1.    1. dry, sterile compresses and 
  2.    2. then in a waterproof plastic bag.

To keep the part cool during transport, the closed plastic bag holding the part should be placed in a mixture of water and ice. The body part may not be in direct contact with water or ice.

In some cases however, the condition of the severed finger or hand is too poor for replantation. In addition, too much time may have passed between when it was severed and replantation or the limb may not reattach properly after surgery. In this case, the affected person will lose the finger or hand.

What is important in case of an amputation?
When a finger or hand has to be amputated, later treatment options with prostheses must be considered. For more information on the prosthesis options for hand or finger amputees, see the section Who is a silicone finger prosthesis suitable for?