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April 18, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;237(16):1665-1671. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270430007001

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Surgeons replace the scalp of man injured while working on truck  A man who was literally scalped, and sustained a depressed skull fracture as well, is recovering from a dramatic 17-hour operation in which his severed scalp was reimplanted. This is apparently the first time in the United States that an entire scalp has been put back in place after such an accident. Surgeons in Australia have reported one successful case (Plast Reconstr Surg, August 1976), and there have been a few reports of less extensive scalp reimplantations.The current patient is a 26-year-old man from Santa Cruz, Calif. He wore his hair long, and generally tied back. Unfortunately, he neglected this precaution while working under a truck with the engine still running. His long hair was caught in a universal joint of a rotating shaft and his scalp was completely torn off. He was knocked unconscious.A friend