After a man’s hand was chopped off during a work accident, surgeons saved it by attaching it to his leg, Central European News (CEN) reported.

Zhou, a factory worker in central China, had his left hand chopped off due to the incident, which involved spinning blade machine. When he was taken to the hospital, his arm and severed hand were badly wounded, leading doctors to decide to graft it to his right ankle. For over a month, the appendage was left there, so the nerves and tendons could heal.

"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 Juyu, head of microsurgery at the Xiangyu Hospital in Changsha, told CEN. “If a limb is short of blood for too long, its tissues die and it will be unsalvageable.”

In a 10-hour surgery, the hand was reattached to Zhou’s arm.

The man is now able to slightly move his fingers, but will still need rehabilitation before regaining full function, CEN reported.