Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Handful of Freedom

In the latest issue of Paraplegie (No 141, 2012), journalist Christine Zwygart reports her impressions after spending two full days with the Tetrahand Surgery team. Her introduction lines "Suddenly being able to raise your arm and grab something with force – the wish for many tetraplegics - Thanks to surgery, it is now possible to awaken paralyzed hands to new life" pinpoint the goal of this service. Mrs Zwygart translates very powerfully how crucial hand function is in real life and the necessity of giving the paralyzed spinal cord injured patients access to expert assessments and opportunities to undergo surgical reconstruction of hand function when feasible. In a separate paragraph "Freedom and mobility", mrs Zwygart details some of the vitals aspects of the post-operative training to achieve functions useful in daily life. She finally states that "Dressing, cooking, writing, driving a wheelchair forward, shake hands when greeting someone – that’s usually possible for tetraplegics after surgery". Figure above shows hand writing technique is patient before (left) and after (right) reconstruction of hand function. For more info, see full article below.