From the Editor

Did you know that hand surgery didn’t become an official specialty until World War II?
Faced with an overwhelming number of hand injuries during the war and recognizing the need for specialized care, the US Army Surgeon General asked a civilian colleague–a general surgeon with experience in hand reconstruction–to train military surgeons on treating hand injuries. The field of hand surgery was born.

Since then, specialists in plastic surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, vascular and microvascular surgery have made contributions to the field.

Hand surgeons treat a variety of conditions and diseases, including cuts, burns, traumatic or crushing injuries, repetitive stress injuries, congenital deformities, thumb arthritis, trigger finger syndrome and many more. To learn more, check out the American Society for Surgery of the Hand website.

Julie LancasterScroll down for news, videos and an all-new crossword puzzle about hand surgery. Our Student in the Spotlight is Jeremy Wedge, RN, from Roseburg, OR. And of course you’ll also find a collection of current RNFA job openings, along with NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor



Successful Twin Hand Transplant

Following a 15-hour surgery, a 30-year-old Afghan military captain who had lost his hands three years ago while defusing mines, now has two fully functioning arms with all ten digits.
While hand transplants are not so unusual, the attachment of two complete arms is rare. In this case, the arms didn’t belong to the captain: the donor was a 54-year-old brain dead accident victim from Kerala, India. The surgery took place at the The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) in Kochi, India. Read two accounts of this story: one from the New Indian Express and another from

Candy Crush Hand Injury?  

In April the Journal of the American Medical Association presented a case study involving “a 29-year old man who ruptured the tendon in his hand apparently from playing the video game Candy Crush between six and eight hours a day for several weeks,” writes Libby Mitchell of University of Utah Health Care. Read more . . .

Bilateral Hand Transplant

Plastic surgeon Simon G. Talbot, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, provides an overview of New England’s first bilateral hand transplantation with a brief history of limb transplantation. Also included in this presentation is information on patient selection, the procedure, limb procurement, recovery and complications. See video.

MCP Joint Arthroplasty

Although metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasty is occasionally performed for joints affected by osteoarthritis, it is most often done in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The metacarpophalangeal joint is critical for proper finger function but is the most common site of involvement in the rheumatoid hand.  This video was prepared by the University of Washington Hand CenterSee video.

Perioperative Puzzle: Hand Surgery Crossword
RNFA+Crossword Hand Surgery

Test your knowledge of hand anatomy, conditions and surgery with this month’s crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!



Hand & Wrist Pro III.  The Hand & Wrist Pro III by provides an in-depth look at the hand and wrist, allowing you to cut, zoom and rotate views. It provides multiple cross sections and the ability to cut away different layers. Also included are animations highlighting muscle movements and joint functions, and images of every major nerve, muscle and vessel isolated. In Mac OS, iPhone and iPad versions.

BoneBox™ – Hand. The BoneBox™ – Hand by SO-FORM is a real-time 3D medical education and patient communication tool featuring finely detailed anatomical models of the bones of the human hand. It is a member of a series of apps developed by a team of anatomists, certified medical illustrators, animators and programmers using actual human CT imaging data and the most accurate 3D modeling technology available. You can place the detailed hand in any position and zoom in to explore all of its anatomical structures. An interactive quiz feature lets you test your knowledge of the bones of the

The Journal of Hand Surgery (JHS) publishes original, peer-reviewed articles related to the diagnosis, treatment and pathophysiology of diseases and conditions of the upper extremity.  Read the journal from anywhere in the world with just a tap, logging on with the same username and password that grant access to the full journal content on the JHS website.

In the Spotlight

Name:  Jeremy Wedge

Credentials:  RN
Student Status: Current NIFA RNFA student 

City and State: Roseburg, OR

Current Job:  Staff nurse at Oregon Surgery Center, a small outpatient surgery center attached to a hospital

Where did you get your RN degree?
Umpqua Community College (Roseburg)

Why did you choose perioperative nursing?
It looked like an interesting and challenging field of nursing to get into, so I applied for a position at my facility when one came open.

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
During a Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation, the internal iliac artery was punctured when the surgeon was placing a trocar, resulting in an emergency open case, transfusion, etc. We ended up having to give the patient a couple of units of blood–a big deal at the time, because the surgery center was across town and we had to run to the hospital to get it.

Our staff were awesome, though. We got her abdomen opened right away and found the bleeder, and the general surgeon on call scrubbed in and repaired the defect. It made a huge impression on me, because I was a new scrub at the time and got pulled in to help while the scrub and the circulator were doing counts and getting instruments, getting blood, crash cart, etc.

In spite of getting a transfusion, an unplanned abdominal incision, and having to spend a few days in the hospital, the patient did well and recovered just fine.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
So many. One for sure will be the “dismount” when running a subcuticular stitch.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
I feel that it will definitely give me more financial freedom, but also the ability to find employment anywhere I want to go.


Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 7:30am – 5:00pm (Fridays 7:30am – 4:00pm).