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April 4, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;237(14):1413-1419. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270410013001

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Rare operation reimplants toddler's foot severed by lawnmower  For the first time in the United States, surgeons have reimplanted a foot cut off in an accident. Although hands, fingers, and even whole arms have been restored with heartening frequency, most surgeons have believed that the lower extremity could seldom, if ever, be reimplanted.The difficulties are far more formidable than those encountered in reimplanting a severed arm. There are all the same surgical problems—microanastomosis of tiny vessels, nerves, and tendons, tricky challenges in bone fixation, wound management problems, skin grafting, and so on. In addition, the foot must bear weight with the probability of postoperative tissue damage, so that attempts to rescue a severed foot seem almost quixotic in view of the fact that amputation of a foot is vocationally less disabling for most people than that of a hand or arm.There are no statistics on attempted lower-extremity