The thumb plays an important role in the hand function. Routine work related to pinch, grip, grasp, and precision handling can be easily accomplished with opposable thumb.
Attempts to restore thumb function were recorded as early as 1874, when Huguier (Arch Gen Med. 1, 78, 1874) reported on the phalangization of the thumb metacarpal. In 1900, Nicoladoni (Arch Klin Chir. 61, 606–14, 1900) described a reconstruction procedure following traumatic amputation of the thumb in which a staged, pedicled transfer of the great toe was performed.
The causes of thumb deficiency are traumatic loss and congenital anomalies. In the late nineteenth century, three basic methods of thumb restoration were established for various levels of amputation. There were digital transplantation, variable reconstruction, and use of hand structures such as phalangization and pollicization.
Congenital thumb anomalies, such as duplication, hypoplasia, and agenesis, are common and have a significant impact on the important functional role of the thumb. In the last century, they were classified and reconstructed with adequate variable techniques.
History Thumb surgery Phalangization Digital transplantation Pollicization
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Huguier PC. Du remplacement du pouce par son metacarpien, par l’agrandissement du premier espace interosseux. Arch Gen Med. 1874;1:78.Google Scholar
Graham DJ, Venkatramani H, Sabapathy SR. Current reconstruction options for traumatic thumb loss. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2016;41:1159–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Littler JW. Reconstruction of the thumb in traumatic loss. In: Converse JM, editor. Reconstructive plastic surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders; 1977. p. 3352.Google Scholar
Lister G. The choice of procedure following thumb amputation. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1984;195:45–51.Google Scholar
Moberg E. Aspects of sensation in reconstructive surgery of the upper extremity. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1964;46:817–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Littler JW. Neurovascular pedicle transfer of tissue in reconstructive surgery of the hand. J Bone Joint Surg. 1956;38A:917.Google Scholar
Woo SH, Lee GJ, Kim KC, et al. Immediate partial great toe transfer for the reconstruction of composite defects of the distal thumb. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006;117(6):1906–15.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Piñal F, Moraleda E, de Piero HG, Ruas J, Galindo C. Onycho-osteo-cutaneous defects of the thumb reconstructed by partial hallux transfer. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2014;39(1):29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foucher G, Khouri RK. Digital reconstruction with island flaps. Clin Plast Surg. 1997;24(1):1–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Gurdin M, Pangman JW. The repair of surface defects of fingers by trans-digital flaps. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1950;5:368–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoskins DH. The versatile cross-finger pedicle flap. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1960;42:261–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Costa H, Soutar DS. The distally based island posterior interosseous flap. Br J Plast Surg. 1988;41(3):221–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Groenevelt F, Schoorl R. The reversed forearm flap using scarred skin in hand reconstruction. Br J Plast Surg. 1985;38(3):398–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marble K, Fudem G. First web space release with the dorsal hand rotation flap: closing the donor site. Ann Plast Surg. 1995;35(1):83–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Woo SH, Choi BC, Oh SJ, Seul JH. Classification of the first web space free flap of the foot and its applications in reconstruction of the hand. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;103:508–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dobyns JH, Lipscomb PR, Cooney WP. Management of thumb duplication. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1985;195:26–44.Google Scholar
Tada K, Yonenobu K, Tsuyuguchi Y, Kawai H, Egawa T. Duplication of the thumb. A retrospective review of two hundred and thirty-seven cases. J Bone Joint Surg [Am]. 1983;65:584–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bilhaut M. Guerison d’un pouce bifide par un nouveau procede.operatoire. Congrés Francais de. Chirurgie. 1889;4:576–80.Google Scholar
Tonkin MA, Bulstrode NW. The Bilhaut-Cloquet procedure for Wassel types III, IV and VII thumb duplication. J Hand Surg Eur. 2007;32:684–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Müller W. Die angeborenen Fehlbildungen der menschlichen Hand. Leipzig: Thieme; 1937.Google Scholar