Research Article| Volume 2, ISSUE 3, P141-152, August 2002


  • Scott H Kozin
    Address reprint requests to Scott H. Kozin, MD, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 3551 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Temple University; Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA
    Search for articles by this author


      Upper-extremity management is only a fraction of the care and support system required after spinal cord injury, however, the importance of upper-extremity function should not be underestimated. The increased independence after upper-extremity reconstruction greatly enhances the quality of life and the ability to perform activities of daily living in persons with tetraplegia. Proper patient selection for upper-extremity reconstruction requires a multidisciplinary approach because the patient must be stabilized from a physical, emotional, and medical standpoint. The reconstruction algorithm is based on the remaining function within the limb and the number of muscles available for transfer. The functions integral to successful manipulation of objects (acquisition, grasp, and release) are prioritized according to a hierarchy. This article discusses upper-extremity management after tetraplegia and delineates the reconstructive ladder for limb reconstruction. Copyright © 2002 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand
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