Using nerve transfer to restore prehension and grasp 12 years following spinal cord injury: a case report

Ida K. Fox, Christine B. Novak, Lorna C. Kahn, Susan Mackinnon, Rimma Ruvinskaya, Neringa Juknis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction Nerve transfers are used routinely for reconstruction of hand function following lower motor neuron lesions. In people with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI), this novel and alternate reconstruction option may be useful to restore prehension and grasp, and improve hand function. Case presentation A 34-year-old male presented 12 years post-mid-cervical SCI. Pre-operative electrodiagnostic studies revealed intact lower motor neurons below the SCI level. He elected to undergo nerve transfer surgery to restore hand function. Intraoperative evaluation led to the transfer of a brachialis nerve to several median nerve recipient branches. Post surgery, he was discharged home and resumed activities of daily living. He achieved independent thumb and finger flexion function and continued to exhibit functional improvement at 4 years post surgery. Discussion These results should prompt referral for consideration of nerve transfer surgery—an exciting alternative to tendon transfer and neuroprostheses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalSpinal Cord Series and Cases
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

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