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Builder Has Big Toe Grafted In Place Of Severed Thumb

Builder Has Big Toe Grafted In Place Of Severed Thumb

Carpenter has severed left thumb replaced with his big toe…

A British builder who lost his thumb in a carpentry accident has undergone a procedure to replace the severed digit with his big toe.

James Byrne, 29, thought he would lose the use of his left hand when he accidently cut off his thumb with a chop-saw in December 2010.

When he was rushed to the hospital surgeons first tried to sew his original thumb back on but the blood would not begin to flow, despite months of different treatments.

Eventually, surgeons decided that the best way to give Byrne back the use of his hand would be to amputate his dominate toe and graft it in place of his irreparable thumb.

And since the side effects of losing his balance would only be short term, the results would easily outweigh the loss of his toe.

A father to one young Connor, 8, and paver and plant operator by trade, Byrne decided to go ahead with the operation in hope that he would be able to return to work.

Consultant Umraz Khan led two teams of surgeons in an 8-hour operation at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England – a regional microsurgery center with an international reputation for complex surgeries – to amputate and graft the thumb.

Two months later, operation Byrne began regaining the movement in his replacement digit, which he has nicknamed Toby. Byrne still has to wait for an operation to remove the wires fusing his bones together, and as a result, still has limited movement in his thumb, however his is expected to regain full use with further intense physiotherapy.

James hopes to return to paving job in the New Year and then play rugby shortly after.


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    Claire Bates: Can you spot the difference? Surgeons replace dad’s severed thumb with BIG TOE after he sawed it off in DIY accident. Daily Mail UK, 12/02/2011.
  1. Jesus Diaz: This Man Had His Thumb Replaced By His Toe. Gizmodo, 12/05/2011.

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