High Five for a New Hand

Years after losing his hand in a fireworks accident, a patient is whole again--thanks to a daring transplant

It was miraculous enough in early 1999 when doctors in Louisville, Ky., transplanted a left hand from a fresh cadaver to Matthew David Scott, then 37, who had lost his own hand in a fireworks accident 13 years earlier. The surgery--an exacting task that required joining dozens of nerves, blood vessels, muscles, bones and tendons--was a success, if only because the transplanted hand wasn't immediately rejected by its new host.

But hooking hand to arm was the easy part. Getting the improbable graft to do the work of an ordinary hand was another matter. Now, it seems, that hurdle has been...

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