Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hand surgery enhances life quality for those with spinal cord injuries

25.03.2013
Reconstructive hand surgery can dramatically enhance the life quality and independence of those paralysed by a cervical spinal cord injury.

Despite this, the operation is not frequently performed, either in Sweden or elsewhere. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden are now hoping to change that.


Photo shows a patients grip before surgery.
Photo: The University of Gothenburg


Photo shows a patients grip after surgery.
Photo: The University of Gothenburg

A cervical spinal cord injury entails paralysis in both arms and legs, severely limiting daily life for its victims. Previous studies have shown that the capability that those with cervical spinal cord injuries most wish to recover is a functioning hand.

At the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, since the 1970’s, it has been possible to improve the gripping ability for these individuals by surgical means, and at present an estimated 40 per cent of all spinal cord injury patients in Sweden undergo this operation.

The PhD student Johanna Wangdell, who also works as an occupational therapist, has in the course of her thesis interviewed (all those) patients who have had their hand function reconstructed at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital since 2003.

The thesis shows that this hand surgery, in a dramatic way, enhances the life quality of those with spinal cord injuries:

“The surgery doesn’t only deliver a physical benefit in the form of increased gripping strength. The ability to eat independently, to carry out household chores and leisure activities offers mental rewards which benefit our social life, our daily habits and the roles we perform. Knowing that you can handle things yourself, of getting back your private life and restoring your identity as active parent, for example, or the guy that can go along for a beer with his mates is, in many cases, invaluable,” says Johanna Wangdell.

Besides the individual progress this represents, reconstructive hand surgery also means that the requirement for personal assistance and specially adapted housing can be reduced and this can deliver savings for society as a whole.

Despite this, the hand surgery is performed only to a very modest extent outside Sweden: whereas four out of ten victims of spinal cord injuries are operated in Sweden only one out of ten undergo the surgery in the USA.

“Few clinics in the world undertake as many operations per year of this type as the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. This means that victims of spinal cord injuries from across Europe come to the hospital for this surgery,” explains Johanna Wangdell.

“This is the first study that focuses on the patient viewpoint and we can demonstrate that those who undergo this surgery experience a really high level of satisfaction. I hope that my studies will contribute to the surgery becoming available much more widely, both in Sweden and the rest of the world.”

Contact:

Johanna Wangdell,

PhD Student at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at The University of Gothenburg, and registered Occupational Therapist at the Department of Hand Surgery / Spinal Cord Injury Unit, Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Tel: + 46 31-342 92 65
Mobile: +46 702-99 21 12

johanna.wangdell@vgregion.se

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/news_and_events/news/News_Detail//hand-surgery-enhances-life-quality-for-those-with-spinal-cord-in

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Vanishing capillaries
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>