Washington: A UC San Diego neurosurgeon and his team have pioneered a novel technique to restore hand function in patients with spinal cord injury.Justin M. Brown, MD, reconstructive neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health System, said this technique might also be offered in select cases to patients with paralysis as a result of trauma, stroke, or brain injury.In the United States there are approximately 300,000 people living with spinal cord injuries with 12,000 new injuries occurring each year. More than half of these injuries result in neck-level injures that lead to loss of hand and arm function. In a delicate four-hour procedure, Brown splices together tiny nerve endings, only one millimeter in width, to help restore hand mobility. Most patients return home 24 hours after surgery.“Even if a patient appears to have lost total hand function, as long as there is some nerve in the arm or shoulder under the patient`s control, some mobility may be regained,” said Brown, director of the Neurosurgery Peripheral Nerve Program and co-director of the Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology at UC San Diego Health System.“With a nerve transfer, the goal is to reverse paralysis. This means achieving functional grasp and release so that patients can eat independently, operate a computer or hold a loved one`s hand,” he explained.
Metabolic disorders may trigger Alzheimer’s
Lifestyle changes can prevent type-2 diabetes