Opposable toe created as surgeon restores injured hand

MICROSURGEONS in the UK have successfully attached a man’s big toe to his hand to replace a thumb that was severed in an accident.

James Byrne, 29, cut off the thumb on his left hand last December 2010 while sawing through a piece of wood.

After an attempt to reattach the damaged thumb was unsuccessful, Umraz Khan, a plastic surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, transplanted the big toe from the patient’s left foot on to his hand.

"Mr Khan reattached my thumb but it had been badly damaged and although we tried everything, including leeches, to get the blood flowing again, it didn't take," Mr Byrne said.

"Mr Khan said to me, 'You will have a thumb even if I have to take your toe'. I thought he was joking, but he was serious and nine months later here it is.

"The aesthetics of it don't bother me, I am just happy that it works. My work as a paver would have been destroyed without the use of my hand because I