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After losing arm in work accident, man gets it reattached

Loss of limb, a partial amputation, or the loss of use of a body part - all of these are major challenges. The workers' compensation term that usually applies - "specific loss" - does not fully convey the hard reality involved in coping with these injuries.

Hazelton, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania certainly have their share of specific loss cases. They are all difficult, each in its own way.

Fortunately, surgical techniques and technological advancements in prosthetic limbs continue to improve. In one recent case in Texas, a 50-year-old man whose left arm was severed in a work accident had his arm reattached by surgeons.

The man nearly bled to death after the accident and his arm was amputated. But a plastic surgeon was able to transfuse blood from the man's left leg into the amputated arm. The surgeon then tried an experimental procedure to reattach the arm.

It took 18 hours of painstaking surgery by a transplant team. The surgeon was not sure how much sensation in the arm the man would regain. But the man's progress has exceeded expectations. He has been able to move all of the fingers on his left hand and carry out daily tasks.

The bones of the arm are held in place by metal rods. But the man is experiencing the gradual regeneration of nerves and muscles. He can now pick up small objects and put his own shirt on.

The man is a Navy veteran who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. His surgeon credits the man's discipline and drive for making his rehabilitation program so successful.

Source: "Navy vet's arm reattached after workplace injury," KHOU, Janet St. James, 1-3-13

Our firm handles situations similar to this post in Pennsylvania. To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on loss of limb.

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