Rehabilitation After Surgical Reconstruction to Restore Function to the Upper Limb in Tetraplegia: A Changing Landscape

  • M. Elise Johanson
    Corresponding author M. Elise Johanson, DPT, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Research and Spinal Cord Injury Service, 3801 Miranda Ave/128, Palo Alto, CA 94304.
    Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
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      Upper limb reconstructive surgical procedures for individuals with tetraplegia are performed in many centers internationally. Most recipients of surgery return to local communities and nonsurgical centers for postoperative rehabilitation and long-term follow-up. This supplement focuses on the clinical significance of upper extremity reconstruction, addressing issues related to the availability and choice for surgery, preoperative assessments, postoperative training paradigms, and appropriate outcome measures. Comprehensive intervention protocols are described in terms of dose, timing, specific activities, modalities, and related outcomes. Shared knowledge of current rehabilitation practice, as it relates to reconstructive surgery, can expand treatment options communicated to patients, increase the availability of postoperative muscle reeducation programs, and motivate long-term follow-up assessments.


      List of abbreviations:

      FES (functional electrical stimulation), SCI (spinal cord injury)
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