MAYWOOD, IL – A surgery for quadriplegics called tendon transfer can significantly improve hand and elbow function, but the procedure is greatly underused, according to an article in the journal Hand Clinics by Loyola Medicine hand surgeon Michael S. Bednar, MD, FAAOS.
In the procedure, muscles that still work are redirected to do the jobs 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. The patient can, for example, propel a wheelchair in the snow, use a fork without splints, grip a fishing pole, shake hands and perform daily activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting and transferring to and from a wheelchair. Continue Reading »