Mark Cahill had suffered extreme gout in his right hand to the point where it had become paralysed.
The eight hour operation at Leeds General Infirmary on December 27 saw his hand removed before a donor hand was added and he can already move his right hand fingers – for the first time in five years.
The operation was also a first as the hand was removed and then the donor attached during the same operation – usually the hand has already been severed before transplant occurs.
“It just feels like my hand,” Mr Cahill told the BBC after his operation.
“Right now it feels really good, it’s not a lot of pain, it looks good, it looks a great match and I’m looking forward to getting it working now.”
Mr Cahill thanked the staff at the hospital and the donor without whom his new-found finger mobility would not have been possible.
The world’s first hand transplant was in 1998, performed in France for a man from Yorkshire in the UK. The hand was later removed – patient Clint Hallam complained that he felt “mentally detached” from his new hand.