This man’s toe is now his thumb after he accidentally sawed off his digit


  • Michigan resident Aiden Adkins, accidentally cut off his thumb while working in his garage in April.
  • The missing thumb couldn’t be found, so he was told by doctors that they could use one of his toes to replace it.
  • After months of contemplating, he decided to undergo an operation to remove his left index toe and use it to reconstruct a thumb.

In a very successful toe-to-thumb transplant ever seen, a man who accidentally chopped off his thumb had received one of his toes for replacement.

While crafting a wooden gift for his then-partner in his garage in April, Aiden Adkins of Carson City, Michigan saw a wood chip fly across the room. He realized seconds later that it was his thumb.

Photo Credit: WKRN
Photo Credit: WKRN

At the hospital, doctors told him that they had four hours to reattach his thumb. However, at the time his family couldn’t find the missing digit and even up to this day. So Adkin’s surgeons decided to sew his hand without a left thumb but also told him that they could use one of his toes instead.

In more ways than one, the thumb is among the defining features of humans. Unlike other fingers, it is opposable, which has helped us develop more accurate movements.

Adkins who loves target practice decided after months of pondering that he’d rather have a thumb than a missing toe.

On August 20, Adkins underwent the surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital where surgeons removed his left index toe and used it to reconstruct a thumb. Once he got the casts off a week later, Adkins was elated.

“I can finally give a thumbs-up again!” he said.


The procedure that Adkins underwent is not the first of its kind. In 1897, an Austrian surgeon created the first ‘thoe’ by connecting a patient’s hand to his foot for some weeks, then cutting the big toe off leaving it attached to the hand.

Although surgeons nowadays perform the same procedure far more successfully, it still takes four surgeons and half a day to create a ‘thoe’.


Source: Daily Mail

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