Each replantation case is unique as multiple structures are involved. Close communication between your hand surgeon and therapist is key for the success of your replantation.
Successful replantations depend upon many factors, and these help the hand surgeon decide whether to attempt replantation. The importance of the severed digit helps the surgeon and patient determine if the risks and benefits of surgery are worthwhile. The severity of the injury determines whether the tissue is salvageable. Factors that affect the successful return of function include how the tissue was severed (guillotine cut or crush injury), and the degree and type of damage to bones, nerves and blood vessels.
For digital replantations: The hand is kept elevated above the heart. The hand is kept warm and the patient is instructed regarding the risks of smoking. Your hand therapisty will fabricate a custom orthosis and will work with you to regain your range of motion in your hand and wrist.
Replantation Success Rates
Overall success rates for replantation range from 77% for guillotine-type (clean cut) amputations versus crush amputations at 49%. The cleaner cut from guillotine amputations causes less tissue damage than crush amputations, improving the chances for success.
Successful healing will not regain full function of the replanted parts. Surgeons consider regaining 60-80% of previous function to be an excellent outcome. However, if regaining any amount of function allows you to continue your work, improves your activities of daily living, or improves your life in general, replantation of hands or fingers is well-worth considering.