Purpose: To evaluate the incidence and treatment of complications, suboptimal outcomes, and functional deficiencies after pollicization, and the need for additional surgical procedures. Methods: A total of 73 index finger pollicizations performed by a single surgeon were identified. We retrospectively evaluated all available patient records for perioperative complications, suboptimal outcomes, and functional deficiencies of the pollicized digit. Results: There were 8 complications in the perioperative period (including 3 cases of venous congestion, 4 cases of marginal necrosis, and 1 infection), requiring 12 surgical procedures; 1 pollicized digit was removed owing to nonviability. There were 8 suboptimal outcomes, including 7 cases of scar contracture and 1 with redundant skin, requiring 3 surgical procedures. Additional procedures related to functional deficiencies were performed in 26 total patients, 19 for poor opposition and 15 for limited extension. Conclusions: Most perioperative complications and suboptimal outcomes after pollicization are minor when an experienced surgeon is involved. Venous congestion, although uncommon, is a major viability risk and should be treated aggressively. In addition, a substantial number of pollicized digits have functional deficiencies related to anatomical limitations that can be addressed with muscle and tendon transfers. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.
- Hypoplastic thumb