Health Watch - Danger: Reattaching a Limb

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Although we’d prefer to stay out of danger, if we ever do end up in a life-threatening situation, it’s good to know that medical science can save your life and help you recover. An accident that severs an arm may be life-changing, but modern medicine means that the arm doesn’t have to be permanently lost.

Surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center have used techniques and experience gained in treating battlefield injuries to treat serious orthopaedic trauma on the home front. Reconstructive surgery can piece back together bones, arteries, muscles and tendons to reattach severed limbs.

Dr. Joseph Borrelli, chairman of orthopaedic surgery at UT Southwestern, applied his orthopaedic trauma skills to a young woman whose arm was severed by a boat propeller. After reconstructive surgery and physical rehabilitation, she’s regained the use of her arm and has even been able to return to most of the activities she enjoyed before the accident.

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March 2011


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