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Spinal Cord Injury Patient Regains Hand Mobility After Surgeons Re-Rout Nerves

A 71-year-old man with a spinal cord injury to his C7 vertebrae (lowest bone in the neck) is now able to use his hands and fingers thanks to a new surgical procedure. This time the doctors chose not to operate on the patient’s spinal cord. Instead, they re-routed some of his working nerves by connecting them to the area of his spine above the injury, which allows them to communicate with the brain and send back and forth the information necessary for the patient to be able to move his hands.

According to, for now the recovery of the patient’s hand movement was only partial: he could bend his thumb and index finger. At first this might not seem like much, but we should remember that the joint operation of those two fingers is one of the reasons why of all mammals, humans ended up dominating this world…

Other Nerves Restore Movement

According to renamed surgeon Dr. Ida K. Fox, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Washington University, the procedure is unusual for treating quadriplegia because doctors did not try to go back into the spinal cord where the injury was and instead, went to the elbow where they knew they could borrow good working nerves and re-route them to provide hand function.

Patients with this kind of injury, at the C6 and C7 vertebrae level, generally lose hand function, but are able to move their shoulders, their elbows and some parts of their wrists as the nerves that connect to the brain for these functions are found above the injury point. This surgery is not helpful to patients who have lost arm function in vertebra C1 through C5, which are higher parts of the spine. The surgery is very specific in the type of patient it can assist. According to Dr. J. Marc Simard, a professor of neurosurgery, pathology and physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, this procedure applies only to those with spinal injuries far enough down on the spine that there are remnants of nerves still functional that can be tapped into and that are located above the injury.

It is important to note that this injury level is very common among car accident victims. If you or a loved one were victims of a motor vehicle accident, we can help you recover the funds necessary for your rehabilitation.

We Can Help

As stated before, if you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a tractor-trailer accident, an accident at an amusement park or any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. The lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than 55 years of combined experience helping victims of spinal cord injuries caused by someone else’s negligence recover the compensation that may be owed to them.

Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Car Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have represented many clients involved in serious motor vehicle accidents that have caused spinal cord injuries.

Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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