Simultaneously joyous and disturbing news via premier British medical science journal Orange UK:
Surgeons in China saved a little girl’s hand – by grafting it on to her leg for three months. Nine-year-old Ming Li lost her hand when she was run over by a tractor on her way to school in July. But her arm was too badly damaged to reattach it to her wrist so doctors temporarily attached it to her right calf instead.
Dr Hou Jianxi, spokesman for the hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, said the hand had now been transplanted back on to her arm. “When she came in, her left hand was completely severed from her body. It was very scary,” he told the Zhoukou Evening Post. “But Ming Li can now move her wrist again and her left hand is a healthy pink colour proving that the blood is circulating well.”
Li will need two more operations over the next year. One to improve her hand functions and some plastic surgery to remove her scars.
But Dr Hou said: “After surgery, and with plenty of physiotherapy, we are confident her left hand will be capable of doing most things. We can’t give a precise percentage of how much movement she will get back but she should be able to look after herself and even drive a car.”