Severed hand saved after being grafted onto man's ankle

Xiao Wei's right hand attached to his ankle.
Xiao Wei's right hand was severed in an accident at work in November. Photo: HAP/Quirky China News/REX

A man who lost his hand in an industrial accident had it successfully reattached after doctors grafted it onto his ankle for a month.

When Xiao Wei's right hand was severed in November he was rushed a local hospital in Changde, located in China's Hunan province.

Initially doctors said they were unable to save the limb, but medics at a larger hospital in neighbouring Changsha felt differently.

They opted to attach Mr Xiao's hand onto his ankle as they treated his other injuries.

Mr Xiao's doctor told REX Features that his injury was "severe".

"Besides ripping injuries, his arm was also flattened", the doctor said, adding, "We had to clear and treat his injuries before taking on the hand reattachment surgery.”

Nearly a month after his hand was severed, doctors felt Mr Xiao had recovered sufficiently enough to undergo the surgical procedure.

Mr Xiao said of his accident:

I was just shocked and frozen at the spot, until co-workers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital.

I am still young, and I couldn't imagine life without a right hand.

Although Mr Xiao will need further operations, his doctors are hopeful he will regain full function of his hand.