An Australian cattle worker, Zac Mitchell, whose thumb was severed by a bull has undergone a successful surgery by replacing it with his toe.
The 20-year-old was attacked back in April while working on a remote farming property in Western Australia.
Explaining the incident, the young cattle working said “a bull kicked my hand into the fence.’ he told the BBC.
According to him, his fellow workers had attempted to preserve his thumb immediately after the accident before he was flown to a hospital in the state capital of Perth, but efforts to save his thumb ultimately failed by placing it in a cooler with some ice
Mitchell underwent two unsuccessful operations to reattach his thumb before doctors opted to relocate his big toe in the surgery lasting eight hours.
He agreed to the successful transplant operation at the Sydney Eye Hospital two weeks ago.
The lead plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Nicklin told BBC in a chat that he was not surprised it took time for Mirchell to accept.
“It is a bit of a crazy idea – the [patient] do not want to be injured in another part of their body,” he said. “[However] even if you have got four good fingers, if you do not have something to pinch against them, your hand has lost a huge amount of its function.”
According to him, he will need more than 12 months of rehabilitation before he returns to return to farm work.
The Sydney Eye Hospital said it was rare to transplant a complete toe, like in Mr. Mitchell’s case, although partial toe relocations were more common.
“A lot of people think their balance and walking is going to be significantly affected which it generally isn’t,” Dr. Nicklin said.
Zac Mitchell mum, Karen, confirmed that his son is making a good recovery. “Two weeks since the operation his walking is almost back to normal.”