SCI Patient Hopes to Regain Hand Function after Rare Surgery in Ottawa

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Routine activities such as holding a toothbrush or a fork are taken for granted by most of us, but not by people who have suffered disabling spinal cord injuries.

That is why breakthrough medical procedures and disability accommodations are so important to SCI patients: such advancements can give people living with paralysis increased mobility and more independence.

A nerve transfer surgery recently performed in Ottawa is one example of how breakthrough medical procedures could improve quality of life for SCI patients. The surgery was performed on a man who is quadriplegic as a result of a swimming accident. While he is able to bend his arm at the elbow, his injury prevents him from bending his wrist and grasping with his fingers.

However, doctors say that, about eight months after the surgery, he can expect to experience a twitch in his hand, and then he can begin physiotherapy to re-learn how to control his fingers. By going through this difficult process, he hopes to gain more independence and be able to do things like eat and get a glass of water without someone assisting him.

This particular medical procedure is the first of its kind to be performed in Canada with the intention of restoring hand function, and in all of North America the surgery is believed to have been used only eight to 10 times in SCI patients.

A recent article in the Ottawa Citizen has more on the procedure itself.

Please see Gluckstein Lawyers' SCI overview to learn more about how our firm advocates for individuals who have suffered spinal injuries.



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