Surgeons save hand by grafting it to ankle for month

CHINESE surgeons have saved a hand severed in an industrial accident by grafting it on to the man's ankle for a month before reattaching it to his arm.

The surgery was carried on a factory worker known as Zhou at Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in central China.

Zhou had his left hand chopped off during a work accident involving a spinning blade machine and was rushed to hospital where Dr Tang Juyu, head of microsurgery at the hospital, decide to operate to give him the chance to "revive" his lost hand.

The surgical team were unable to reattach the hand to Zhou's arm straight away as the severed nerves and tendons needed time to heal.

So his hand was sewn onto his leg in order to keep it "alive" until the arm was ready.

Dr Juyu told the Telegraph: "Under normal temperatures, a severed finger needs to resume blood supply within 10 hours, but that time is even shorter for a separated limb.

"If a limb is short of blood for too long, its tissues die and it will be unsalvageable."

This is not the first time Chinese surgeons have attempted this surgery, another factory worker's hand was saved in 2013 at a hospital in Changde, also in Hunan Province.

The feeling in Zhou's finger has already returned but he will need months of rehabilitation for it to go back to normal.