Tendon transfer can significantly improve hand and elbow function in quadriplegic patients, but the procedure is greatly underused, according to a new study.
A review of studies by hand surgeon Professor Michael Bednar, MD, of Loyola Medicine (Maywood, IL, USA) found that an estimated 65-75% of patients with cervical spinal cord injuries could benefit from upper extremity tendon transfer surgery, but only 14% of patients actually complete the procedure. Tendon transfer surgically redirects functional muscles to do the work of muscles that are paralyzed. Depending on the extent of the spinal cord injury, tendon transfers can enable a patient to grasp objects, pinch, open the hand, and straighten the elbow. Continue Reading »