How long does it take to heal when the finger is amputated?
It is not possible to make a general statement about how long the healing process takes after a finger amputation. This depends on many different factors, such as the cause of the amputation, the age of the patient and possible concomitant diseases (such as vascular diseases or diabetes). Smokers also have a longer healing time and a higher risk of complications.
In addition, the duration of the healing process depends to a large extent on which intervention was necessary and how well it went. The externally visible wounds often heal within a few weeks (more or less large scars may remain). However, complete healing until the normal function of the finger and hand is regained can take considerably longer (several months). In many cases, functional limitations remain, even if the finger has been successfully reattached. This can be manifested by sensations such as tingling, a feeling of cold or reduced mobility of the affected finger.
Are there finger prostheses?
In principle, there are finger prostheses which can only be used under certain circumstances after finger amputation. The most important requirement is that the stump has healed. In addition, it must be ensured that the circumference and volume of the residual limb are stable for a safe prosthesis fitting.
If the residual limb occasionally swells, for example due to water retention, a prosthesis often cannot be inserted. An orthopedic technician should be consulted to determine whether a finger prosthesis is a suitable option. If a finger prosthesis can be fitted, it will be individually adapted and used as an aid. However, the complex function of the whole hand can never be completely restored, so that even with a finger prosthesis, one has to live with limitations.
Degree of disability after finger amputation
By amputating a finger, a degree of disability can be awarded. The amount depends on how many and which fingers are affected. If an index, middle, ring or little finger is affected, the degree of disability is 10%.
The loss of the thumb results in a degree of disability of 25%. If several fingers are lost as a result of the amputation, the degree can be even higher, especially if both hands are affected. In extreme cases, the loss of all fingers of both hands can result in a degree of disability of 100%. A prerequisite for the figures mentioned is that the finger or fingers are irrevocably lost and have not been successfully reattached after an amputation. Furthermore, these are only guidelines and the degree of disability of a person is determined individually on the basis of his or her limitations.
Amputation of the fingertip
An amputation can basically be performed in different areas, the so-called amputation heights. The aim is always to remove as much tissue as necessary and as little as possible. In the case of finger amputation, the amputation of only the fingertip represents the smallest possible extent.
In addition, an injury caused by a cut or bruise, for example, can only result in the loss of the fingertip, which is also known as an amputation. With timely medical treatment, the tip can be reattached if necessary. The chances of the fingertip growing back are better with a smooth cut and otherwise minor tissue injury than, for example, with a crush injury with severe deformation of the body part. Provided that there are no tendon injuries, in some cases the severed fingertip can grow again by a supply of special foil bandages.