Carlo SACCO M.D. - EXTRAORDINARY SURGERY: "NERVE TRANSFER" FOR RECOVERY OF THE USE OF HANDS IN QUADRIPLEGIC PATIENTS
In May 2012, the news of a quadriplegic patient who after a surgery in the USA at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, after a year of rehabilitation, was able to bend the thumb and index finger of both hands https://www.corriere.it/salute/disabilita/12_maggio_15/paraplegico-muove-mani-usa_4ff6defe-9e91-11e1...In 2019 the news was released that in Turin, with a brand new surgical technique used in a few centres in the world, they have given back to a quadriplegic patient the use of their hands. They describe it as the first surgery of its kind performed in Italy. Widely disseminated the news on the foremost newscasts and websites such as TGcom24, ANSA, la Repubblica, social networks, etc. One news title: "Turin, quadriplegic recovers the use of hands with an innovative intervention. The method, performed in a few centres in the world and for the first time in Italy, bypasses the lesion of the spinal cord by reconnecting healthy nerves like electrical wires."
In reality, the results can only be evaluated after 8-10 months as correctly reported in the news of the American patient,
In our team, my colleague Dr Sacco Carlo has carried out that type of surgery in quadriplegic patients to recover the use of their hands since 2014. However, in June 2019, the date of the surgery in Turin, Dr Sacco Carlo already had a case series of about ten patients; therefore, the first surgery in Italy, to be honest, was performed in Romagna in 2014.
In the following months and years, our operated patients underwent a clinical and rehabilitation check in collaboration with colleagues from the Montecatone Institute.
We have published these surgical and rehabilitative treatments in the scientific journal “Microsurgery”. The series consists of a group of 11 patients with a treatment of 14 upper limbs and a postoperative observation period of at least 12 months.
One year after surgery, the results show that nerve transfer surgical procedures have significantly improved muscle strength and functional outcomes. Therefore we believe that surgical nerve transfer can represent a milestone in the rehabilitation process.
To appreciate the results of the surgical treatment and the subsequent rehabilitation treatment with the recovery of hand movements, you can view the video, kindly granted by Dr. Olivi Silvia, Head of the Specialist Hospitalization Unit of the MRI of the Montecatone Institute, by clicking in the box below.
LAST UPDATE 6th MAY 2022