A nationwide review of the treatment patterns of traumatic thumb amputations

Christopher M. Shale, James E. Tidwell, Ryan Patrick Mulligan, Daniel C. Jupiter, Raman C. Mahabir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Traumatic thumb amputations are a common problem with significant associated cost to patients, hospitals, and society. The purpose of this study was to review practice patterns for traumatic thumb amputations using the National Trauma Data Bank. By using a large nationwide database, we hoped to better understand the epidemiology and predictors of attempts and successful replantation. The design was a retrospective review of the National Trauma Data Bank between the years 2007 and 2010, investigating patients with traumatic thumb amputations. Analyses of these patients based on replantation attempt, mechanism of injury, and demographics were performed. Comparisons were made between hospitals based on teaching status and on patient volume for replant attempt and success rates. There were 3341 traumatic thumb amputations with 550 (16.5%) attempts at replantation and an overall success rate of 84.9%. Nonteaching hospitals treated 1238 (37.1%) patients, and attempted 123 (9.9%) replantations with a success rate of 80.5%. Teaching hospitals treated 2103 (63.0%) patients, and attempted 427 (20.3%) replantations with a success rate of 86.2%. Being in a teaching hospital increased the odds of attempted replantation by a factor of 3.1 (P G 0.001) when compared to a nonteaching hospital. Treatment at a high-volume center increased the rate of attempted replantation by a factor of 3.4 (P G 0.001), as compared to low-volume hospitals. Practice patterns show that teaching and high-volume hospitals attempt to replant a higher percentage of amputated thumbs. Success rates are similar across practice settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-651
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • National Trauma Data Bank
  • Thumb
  • Traumatic Thumb Amputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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