Summary #616

Nerve transfer surgery helps regain movement after paralysis

medibulletin.com
  • Major progress made in restoring hand and arm function for paralysed people with 13 successful nerve transfers.
  • Unlike tendon transfers (ie re-siting working muscles), nerve transfers can re-animate more than one paralysed muscle at a time.
  • The period of immobilisation is shorter (10 days compared to 6-12 weeks after tendon transfers), and there are less technical problems during surgery.
  • Following two years of intensive physical therapy, participants regained arm function, allowing them to perform basic everyday tasks independently.
  • Nerve transfers failed in three patients, and study authors say that more research is needed to understand which people are best candidates for this procedure.

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