Adam C. Young, MD
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Alexander Gordon, MD
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Alexander M. Crespo, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
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William Vitello, MD

Patient Story: Traumatic Thumb Injury and Surgery (Scott S.)

Scott suffered a traumatic injury to his thumb which required surgery to save. Keep reading to learn more about Scott’s thumb injury, surgery and the care he received with IBJI’s Dr. Priyesh Patel. Learn more about hand, wrist and elbow care at IBJI.

Surgery on Injured Thumb

On the morning of December 24th, 2019, Scott suffered a from a traumatic accident involving his hand. While using a miter saw, he suffered an injury that resulted in nearly severing his thumb. “I went into the emergency room with it just hanging by the skin. The doctors and the nurses told my wife that it would be unlikely that they would be able to save it.”

Scott woke up later that afternoon after his hand surgery. “When I woke up, much to my surprise, my thumb was still there. That is when I met Dr. Patel for the first time. Dr. Patel had voluntarily been on-call for the holiday and was able to save my thumb.”

Casted hand after thumb surgery
Casted hand after thumb surgery. “Image by: imageportal/

Dr. Patel is an orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in hand and upper extremity microvascular surgery. Though he was hopeful, he still made Scott aware that there was a chance that his thumb may not function normally again. “Over the next several weeks, Dr. Patel cautioned me about several things; he said I may not regain full use of my thumb, I may not regain feeling in part of my thumb, I may need a bone graft and potentially a skin graft. He was cautiously optimistic,” says Scott.

Thumb Recovery and Mobility

“Now in February 2021, I have almost full use of my thumb! I never needed a bone or skin graft and I have regained all feeling. It’s unbelievable!”

“Throughout the process Dr. Patel has been phenomenal. He continuously reassured me that the healing process for an injury like mine takes years and to stay calm. Each visit he would ask me how I was doing and would take the time to listen to me and answer all of my questions carefully. He had a way of explaining the complex medical terms in a way that I could understand. Above all, he gave me the confidence that I would get better.”

Grateful to Dr. Patel for Thumb Surgery

Scott is grateful to Dr. Patel and the work he did to save his thumb. “If it weren’t for his perseverance and confidence in me, I would not have gotten this far. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up. It seemed hopeless, at times I did not think the pain would ever go away. Nor did I think I would ever be able to use my hand again. Dr. Patel never backed down, he gave me every assurance that I would succeed, and I did.

The experience that Scott had with the staff also exceeded his expectations. “From the time I walked in the door to the time I left, everyone was fantastic. The staff at the front desk is kind and happy to see me every time. The X-ray tech is always friendly and genuinely cares that I am comfortable with the process. She even allowed for ‘less than perfect’ X-rays when my hand would hurt too much to get into a position that would be ideal.”

Scott continues, “Andrew was outstanding, he helped put my initial three casts on. He cared so much about doing it right to maximize my healing, despite my whining because it hurt! Andrew knew what was best for me and it certainly paid off. He was there at each subsequent visit to greet me and see how I was doing. He genuinely cared, just like everyone else.”

After his thumb injury and surgery experience, Scott said that Dr. Patel and the IBJI staff are absolutely amazing. “They made the impossible possible. It began with the surgery and ended with complete recovery. They were with me every step of the way.”

Request an Appointment with a Hand Surgeon

Need to see a doctor for hand treatment? Make an appointment today with one of IBJI’s hand doctors—online or in-person—to learn more treatment options to get you back to feeling your best.

Request an Appointment with a Hand Surgeon