Hand and upper extremity function is instrumental to basic activities of daily living and level of independence in cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Nerve transfer surgery is a novel and alternate approach for restoring function in SCI. This article discusses the biologic basis of nerve transfers in SCI, patient evaluation, management, and surgical approaches. Although the application of this technique is not new; recent case reports and case series in the literature have increased interest in this field. The challenges are to improve function, achieve maximal gains in function, avoid complications, and to primum non nocere.
- Nerve transfer
- Spinal cord injury