[Tendon transfers to restore hand function following peripheral nerve injury in the arm]

P J Tanis, L M Poelhekke, T A Schreuders, S E Hovius
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2000 April 29, 144 (18): 825-30
Three patients, a woman aged 33 years, a man aged 42 and a woman aged 66, had a loss of hand function. This was due to denervation of a peripheral nerve, in essence the radial, ulnar and median nerves respectively. In the first two cases this was caused by trauma and in the third by compression neuropathy. The problems were loss of wrist and finger extension (a dropping hand) in the first, loss of intrinsic muscle function and thumb adduction in the second and loss of opposition in the third patient. Tendon transfers were performed by diverting a tendon insertion of a still functional muscle to another tendon to correct the disturbed mechanical balance in the affected upper extremity. After initial immobilisation during several weeks intensive rehabilitation was started. All patients had improvement of range of motion and power in the affected wrist and fingers. In this way a better daily function and resumption of work were accomplished.

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