Docs Replace Man's Severed Thumb With Big Toe

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A man who lost part of his hand in a woodworking accident will soon be able to give a thumb's up again — well, more of a toe up.

Surgeons at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco used a new state-of-art procedure to remove Garret La Fever's big toe and turn it into a new thumb, according to a report from

Click here for the full story and to see a video discussion with La Fever

Dr. Charles Lee, St. Mary's microsurgery director, and University of California San Francisco plastic surgeon Scott Hansen performed the six-hour surgery at St. Mary's Plastic Reconstructive and Orthopedic Surgery Center. La Fever felt the operation was his best chance to regain use of his hand, because the thumb is responsible for 40 percent of the hand's function.

Doctors say La Fever should regain 80 percent function in his hand following six months of therapy. La Fever said he's not sure whether he'll return to carpentry.

Because the big toe stabilizes the step, La Fever also will need to learn to walk and run without it, Hansen told