Initial Management of Traumatic Digit Amputations: A Retrospective Study of Functional Outcomes

Buncke, Gregory and Malata, Charles M. and Buntic, Rudolph and Oni, Georgette and Ngaage, Ledibabari (2018) Initial Management of Traumatic Digit Amputations: A Retrospective Study of Functional Outcomes. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 34 (4). pp. 250-257. ISSN 1098-8947

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (755kB) | Preview
Official URL:


BACKGROUND:  Traumatic amputation of one or more digits can have a serious detrimental effect on social and economic standings which can be mitigated by successful replantation. Little has been recorded on preoperative management before replantation and how this affects the outcomes of the replanted digit. METHODS:  A retrospective cohort study was conducted and data collected over an 18-month period. Three protocols for preoperative management were examined: minimal (basic wound management), complete Buncke (anticoagulation, dry dressing on amputate placed on indirect ice and absence of a digital block), and incomplete (any two or three criteria from complete Buncke in addition to the minimal) protocols. Data was collected on survival rate, secondary operations, and complication rate. Function was defined by sensation, range of movement, and strength. RESULTS:  Seventy four of 177 digits were replanted with an overall survival rate of 86.5%. The rates for minimal, incomplete, and complete protocols were 95%, 87%, and 91%, respectively, and not significantly different. The complication rate was significantly different between the complete (20%) and minimal (60%) protocols (p = 0.0484). Differences in sensation and grip strength were statistically significant between protocols (p = 0.0465 and p = 0.0430, respectively). Anticoagulation, no digital block and dry gauze all showed reduced complication rates in comparison to their counterparts. CONCLUSIONS:  The Buncke protocol, which includes anticoagulation, no digital block, and dry gauze, was found to significantly reduce the complication rate which suggests that it prevents compromise of tissue integrity. Significant differences were found between protocols for sensation and grip strength. A higher-powered study is needed to investigate the effects of preoperative management on complication rates and functional outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: digit replantation, preoperative management, hand surgery, Buncke protocol
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Medical Science (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 14:59
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2022 14:53

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item