Editor's Choice| Volume 45, ISSUE 12, P1123-1133, December 2020

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Measuring Functional Outcomes After Bilateral Vascularized Composite Hand Allotransplantation: A Report of 3 Cases


      Currently, numerous assessment tools are available to measure functional outcomes after bilateral hand transplantation. The purpose of this article is to present our experience utilizing quantitative assessment tools for functional evaluation and to describe our results after bilateral hand transplantation.


      A single surgeon’s experience with bilateral hand transplantation from 2011 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed. Three bilateral hand transplantations were performed in 2 adults and 1 child. A minimum 2-year follow-up evaluation was available. For the adult patients, postoperative outcome measures included patient-reported pain and disability scores, return of sensation, muscle strength, range of motion, and return to work/activities of daily living, the Hand Transplant Scoring System (HTSS), the Sollerman hand function test, and complications. For our pediatric patient, postoperative outcome measures included the Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM) scale, a functional independence measure for children, the 9-Hole Peg Test, the Box and Block test, and complications.


      Our 2 adult patients were age 28 and our pediatric patient was age 8 at transplantation. Follow-up ranged from 2 to 7 years. The functional assessments were performed over a period from 11 to 48 months after transplantation. Both adult patients achieved functional independence and the HTSS, Short Form-36 Health Score (SF-36), DASH, and Sollerman tests demonstrated sequential improvement compared with pretransplantation scores assessed with the use of prostheses. Our pediatric patient demonstrated improvement in his Box and Block test score for each hand at sequential visits after transplantation. His 9-Hole Peg Test demonstrated improvement, and his WeeFIM assessment at 20 months indicated a greater level of independence.


      Patient-reported outcomes and the Sollerman test when used in addition to the HTSS appear to reflect functional improvement in adult patients after bilateral hand transplantation. Although children pose a unique challenge with functional assessment, we found the WeeFIM assessment, 9-Hole Peg Test, and the Box and Block test helpful in evaluating functional outcomes in our pediatric patient.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic V.

      Key words

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