J Reconstr Microsurg 2005; 21(3): 161-165
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-869821
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Distraction Lengthening of the Thumb Following Replantation

Nathan E. Lesley1 , Miguel A. Pirela-Cruz2
  • 1Texas Tech University Medical School, Texas Tech Health Science Center, El Paso, Texas
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Texas Tech Health Science Center, El Paso, Texas
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted: December 7, 2004

Publication Date:
06 May 2005 (online)


Distraction lengthening is one of several surgical reconstructive methods used to obtain length of an amputated digit and to improve function. However, the use of this technique following replantation is a relatively new concept. A case of a 32-year-old male who sustained a traumatic amputation of his left nondominant thumb and index finger is described. The injury and the replantation surgery each resulted in a significant amount of bone loss from the thumb. Nine months following the replantation, distraction osteogenesis was utilized to lengthen the thumb and to improve both function and cosmesis.


Miguel A Pirela-Cruz, M.D. 

Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Texas Tech Health Science Center, El Paso, 79905