Medicine is an occupation filled with stress. Anytime you are able to create a belly-meat thumb you gotta go for it. Either that it was an intermediate step to create an adequate vascular bed.
I was thinking you’d say “Elaine’s ridiculous kick-dance from Seinfeld.”
This is a fascinating story, told well. And as we all know, interesting stories inevitably lead to follow-up questions:
[ol][li]Presuming your friend is in a private medical system, how much did this entire procedure (including the failed reattachment) cost?[/li]
[li]How much time elapsed between SkilSaw Phalangectomy and Everyday Thumbjam?[/li]
[li]What is the appearance of his belly skin? Any scarring or divots?[/ol][/li]
“thoe” - what a great word!
My sister’s father-in-law (I know, here we go again) fell down and broke his crown. When the docs operated the first time, they removed a circle of skull about 2 inches across and sewed it up in his belly. A couple of months later, after several surgeries, they put the piece back in his head. Other than having a circular dent in his head, he’s fine. Don’t know nothing about brain matter though.
You sure? I Googled “Napolean Procedure” and got no hits.
“Napoleon Procedure” got one irrelevant hit.
Hopefully, he didn’t keep the dead thumb. I saw a TV show about crab fishing just last night and they showed a guy who had a collection of talismen hanging around his neck - a bear claw, a lion claw and his claw - a blackened finger that got lopped off in a fishing accident. :eek:
Unable to find a cite. I have heard it referred to during discussions with surgeons. In veterinary medicine the technique has some difficulties (lack of patient cooperation to a forelimb being in an unanatomic position). I will try to find a cite.
Here’s how I understand it. First you tramatize your hand by running it through a skilsaw. You have to remember this went right through the lower knuckle of his thumb. You know, the big beefy one right next to your hand? During the process of cutting things off and sewing them back together several times over I think the medical thought was to allow the thumb area and tissues to settle down after all the trama it had been though.
Considering the process of removing the toe and reattaching it, they wanted to give it the best chance to live. It would kind of suck to have your toe removed only to have it die several weeks later. Of course the plus side is they take the same toe off the other foot and your shoes will match.
I’m in the process of going through this very same thing. I’ve had two reconstructive surgeries on this nose of mine (these aren’t aesthetic nose jobs, these are for function… as in, my nose doesn’t work. Long story. Keep your eyes peeled for a pit thread on my nose soon)
Any-hooo. I had cartilage removed from one of my ears and it was used to rebuild my nose. About 3 months after the surgery it became clear it didn’t work and we’ll have to give it another go. I had to wait one year before they could go back in. As the doctor says “you only have one more donar ear, we have to be careful”.
My doctor explains that the scar tissue needs to relax/settle down/etc before he wants to cut it open again. I suspect the same is true be it earnoses, belly meat carrots or toe thumbs.
For the record, I go in Jan 19th to have my other ear cut off. For you daring types, here are some bloody pictures from my first earnose surgery
It’s kind of fun when my friend and I get together. He pokes me with his new thumb and says “I toed you”. I snif and say “I heard that”.
I think I recall somewhere in the area of 75k at the end of the day. To be honest I don’t know exact numbers. Because he did this on the job, the entire thing was paid in full by “workers comp” and his regular medical insurance. He also received a tidy sum from his life insurace company. After he got that check he said he was happy he wacked the thumb instead of the finger. When it comes to “Loss of Limb” in his policy, thumbs paid more.
After he received his toe thumb, it took around 4 months before he went back to work in a limited aspect. I remember he was out putting a new starter in his car before he returned to work. Every time we’d hook up I’d hold out my arm for him to pinch between his toe thumb and index finger. By 6 months he had a pretty good grip. By a year it was damn good. I’d happen a guess that by two years it was to the level it is now.
He talked about a weird electic feeling as the nerves grew up the toe thumb. He compared it to sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery. As far as I know, the entire thing has feeling again. I don’t think there are any numb spots anymore. I think the returning feeling was the longest recovery time out of the whole affair.
- It looks like a large appendectomy scar.
His foot also has a scar that goes between the big toe and his toe formerly known as the middle toe. It goes 5 inches up the top of his foot towards the ankle. It’s not bad though. If he was just standing barefoot you wouldn’t notice it. In fact, not many people even notice he and Homer Simpson leave the same foot print.
In fact, no. He (as well as those around him) were happy to be rid of it. The thing really did turn black and it STUNK. It took several days before he could have it removed -which involved many, many signed documents.
In the meantime, the doctors gave him a spray called something like NecroFresh or SepiSweet (I forget the actual name but it was something along those lines) to cut back on the smell.
NecroFresh - for that moderately-to-severely less than fresh feeling.
Ya know, I would think that they would have removed the dead thumb immediately, long before it started rotting on his hand. Isn’t that a rather enormous risk of infection?
That’s what I would have thought as well, but I guess the legal paperwork outweighed the stinky thumb.
Seven, you left out part of the story. You never told us what happened to the Ass Leach? Did it live happily ever after? Did it miss it’s family on the thumb and move back? Did it later move to Hollywood where it felt more at home?
[OT] My brother recently cut off half of 3 of his fingers (pinky, ring and middle fingers on his left hand.). It was just the tip of the pinky, and it was too messed up to reattach, but they did use skin off of it to graft onto the other 2. Fortunately, the saw shortened the bone a little, because (from what I understand, IANAD), they needed some room to sew nerves, vessels, skin, etc. back together. Those fingers will always be a little shorter than the others. They say that, if in about 6 months, the nerves haven’t grown back, they’ll probably just cut them back off.
I’m going to send this thread to my brother; he might be interested.
By the way, re: a thumb being worth more than a finger, I’d rather lose half of my 3 lesser fingers than a thumb. I’d probably rather lose all of them, because you can do more with a thumb and index finger than you can with 4 fingers.
The ass leech lived the rest of it’s life on the backside of my friend. I say this because as soon as they found it, it went for a bath in a jar of alcohol (which is where all surgical leeches find themselves after the day is done).
Man. Truth really is stranger than fiction, even fiction written by Douglas Adams.
My grandpa, in his youth, caught his thumb in a pulley (some kind of farm accident) and it got kind of mangled. I think he had to have some kind of skin graft to the area later in life, and he underswent a similar procedure of having his hand attached to his stomach. Then the stomach skin went with his hand. There’s a family story that grandma could tickle grandpa’s stomach and he would rub his hand (or vice versa, I can’t remember).
They say everything’s a fetish for someone.
Many people would give a right arm to play video games all day. Or so they say.
Roy Horn of “Siegfried and Roy” had a section of skull sewn to his stomach so that it could be reinstalled later. Don’t know whether or not they ever did, though.
I’ve been looking in some of my medical and surgical terminology books for a cite, because I swear I’ve heard of it too, but I can’t find any reference to it either. Could be slang, though.
The COPS guy, IIRC, also had a crazy “Little Jack Horner” fetish.
I’ve seen a lot of finger amputations, including a few thumb ones and a few “degloving” injuries (and I’ll bet googling for that would give yousome pretty pictures). Unless it is really bad, I reattach what’s there as best as I can, even if I think it’s non-viable (you’d be surprised how well this can work), then send them to the plastic surgeon fifty miles away. Plastic surgeons in Canada are often unwilling to operate on an amputated pinky tip (not worth the hassle), but thumb injuries are very serious and having a viable and opposable thumb is a top priority – can’t grip much without it.
I have to start recommending more Nintendo for my patients.