Preparation for amputation of the finger
In the case of a finger amputation, good preparation is crucial in order to treat the patient as well as possible and in the best case to preserve the finger. After the loss of the finger due to an accident, the wound should be treated with a pressure bandage as soon as possible to keep blood loss to a minimum and to keep swelling of the tissue to a minimum. The injured person should also hold the affected hand up slightly.
In addition, the severed finger should be sought and placed in a clean plastic bag. This bag is best placed in another plastic bag filled with water and some ice. It is now crucial to bring the patient and the severed finger to a hand surgery clinic as quickly as possible, so that an attempt can be made to reattach the amputated finger. The preparation for the actual operation consists of administering painkilling and anaesthetic medication to the patient and cleaning the wound.
Execution of the finger amputation
In the case of finger amputation due to an accident, an attempt is usually made to reattach the severed finger through surgery. In the process, the bones are first joined together and fixed in place. Next, the surgeon has to suture together the flexor tendons, the blood-bearing arteries and the nerve tracts.
This is followed by the suturing of the blood draining veins and the extensor tendons. Finally, the skin is closed. The operation can only be successful in the long term if all the structures mentioned above heal again.
If there is no prospect of the finger being sutured back on and healing if the tissue is too badly damaged, smooth wound edges are produced on the various structures (bones, tendons) and the wound is closed so that a residual limb remains. One possibility in the event of loss of, for example, a ring or index finger is to move the little finger to the appropriate position in order to achieve the least possible functional impairment of the hand. In any case, medication must be taken after the operation, wound checks must be carried out and functional exercises must be performed.
Aftercare for the amputation of a finger
After a finger amputation, the follow-up care initially consists of regular wound checks in order to detect possible wound healing disorders in time. In addition, after a finger has been reattached, it must be examined to determine whether the operation was successful and whether all the necessary structures such as blood vessels and nerves are re-growing together and resuming their function. In the further course of the operation, careful movement exercises are performed.
However, if the finger could not be reattached and only a stump remains, the aftercare differs. Here, too, the most important goal is initially complication-free wound healing, but in the course of time the possible fitting of a prosthesis may become the goal of aftercare. An important prerequisite for this is that the residual limb can heal as well as possible. Special pressure bandages are regularly applied for this purpose.