Purpose. This study evaluated the composite graft survival rate in distal digital amputations with respect to injury type and amputation level. Methods. Twenty-seven patients with complete fingertip amputations (32 digits) distal to the distal interphalangeal joint who were treated by composite grafting from January 2010 to February 2012 were enrolled. Injury type was classified as clean-cut, blunt-cut, or crush-avulsion. Amputation level was classified according to Ishikawa's classification: subzones I-IV. Graft survival was categorised as complete, partial, or no survival. Results. The graft was more likely to exhibit complete survival in clean-cut injuries (50%) than in blunt-cut (10%) or crush-avulsion injuries (12.5%). However, when complete and partial survival were combined, there was no significant difference among injury types (cleancut = 83.3%, blunt-cut = 70.0%; crush-avulsion = 68.8%). Composite grafting in sub-zone I provided good results (complete survival = 50%; partial survival = 50.0%; no survival = 0%). When complete and partial survival were combined, there was no significant difference with respect to amputation level except sub-zone I (II = 70.6%; III = 66.7%; IV = 60%). In sub-zone II, clean-cut injuries exhibited better graft survival than bluntcut or crush-avulsion injuries. In sub-zones III and IV, no complete graft survival was observed. Conclusion. In conclusion, all types of injuries in sub-zone I and clean-cut injuries in sub-zone II are candidates for composite grafting. Blunt-cut and crush-avulsion injuries in sub-zone II are marginal candidates for composite grafting. Any type of injury in sub-zone III or IV is contraindicated for composite grafting and should be treated by microanastomosis.
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