Quick-Thinking Chinese Doctors Attach A Man's Hand To His Leg

It may look like a major surgical blunder but was actually a stroke of genius.

Doctors in China intentionally attached a man's severed hand to his leg in order to preserve it while the tendons and nerves in his wrists healed.

The improvised, emergency operation took place after a factory worked named Zhou was rushed at a hospital in Changshu, China.

The patient's hand was chopped off in a spinning blade machine mishap, and although reattaching severed limbs is a relatively routine procedure in surgical science now, Zhou's situation was complicated because his wrist was badly wounded. So, reattaching his hand right away was not an option.

Dr. Tang Juyu made the unusual decision of grafting Zhou's hand to his leg to keep it from rotting. A month later, when Zhou's wrist had healed, the hand taken off of the leg and fixed at its original place.

"Under normal temperatures, a severed finger needs to resume blood supply within 10 hours, but that time is even shorter for a separated limb," Dr. Tang explained. "If a limb is short of blood for too long, its tissues die and it will be unsalvageable."

The picture of Zhou's hand protruding from his calf area has gone viral on social media, freaking people out.

While the image upsets some people, the patient had quite the opposite reaction: Zhou is now slowly beginning to regain control of his hand.


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