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May 22, 1967

Reflections on Skin Grafting in Hand Repairs

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, Harvard Medical School (Drs. Cannon and Murray), Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Cannon), Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Childrens Hospital Medical Center (Dr. Murray), Boston

JAMA. 1967;200(8):663-668. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120210049006

The hand is exposed to many hazards, some of which result in loss of skin. Recovery of normal function depends on prompt replacement of the protective skin cover with skin graft. With rare exceptions a split-thickness graft is chosen for primary closure following acute trauma. The graft is easily cut, insures a stable bearing surface, "takes" well, and leaves minimal scarring at the donor site. Elective incisions in the hand prior to skin grafting should not cross flexion creases; disfiguring or disabling scars should be avoided in selecting a donor site; and where possible the simplest, most expeditious method of repair will usually insure the best functional result.