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November 25, 1974

Replantation in China

JAMA. 1974;230(8):1127-1128. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240080017014

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To the Editor.—  Wu Ching-lo, a 28-year-old lathe operator from the outskirts of Shanghai, writes her intricate Chinese characters by holding the pencil between the index and middle fingers of her right hand and the second toe of her right foot. This is not an acrobatic exercise. It is a result of using the second toe for surgical replacement of her accidentally amputated right thumb. The surgery had been done three months before our visit to the Sixth People's Hospital in Shanghai. The patient was undergoing physiotherapy, massage, and training exercises, with excellent results in restoring a badly disadvantaged right hand to relatively full use.At the Sixth People's Hospital, on Jan 2, 1963, the first Chinese replantation of a totally severed hand and wrist had been accomplished. Dr. Chin, chief of Orthopedic Surgery, and his colleagues spent an afternoon showing us current inpatients and several others who had returned