Upper Extremity Surgery in Spinal Cord Injury
The goal of the investigators work is to establish how nerve transfers can be best used to improve upper extremity function in patients with cervical level spinal cord injury (SCI). The investigators' hypothesis is that nerve transfers are safe and effective and will improve function and quality of life in patients with loss of upper function due to spinal cord injury. The investigators plan on looking at upper limb function, and health-related quality of life in patients before and after surgery to better understand how patients benefit from these treatments.
A nerve transfer procedure can be used to rewire the system to make some muscles work again following SCI. The nerve transfer procedure (which is done in the arm and not at the level of the spinal cord) can be used to bypass the damaged area and to deliver a signal from the brain to a muscle that became disconnected following that injury. A donor nerve is taken from another muscle whose use is not essential and then transferred to help in providing more a more critical function.
For example, one type of nerve transfer is done to restore the lost ability to pinch or grasp small objects between the fingers that occurs in many patients with cervical SCI. In this surgery, a donor nerve that normally helps flex the elbow. This nerve can be used because the biceps muscle is also working to flex the elbow. This donor nerve is cut and re-attached to the nerve going to muscles in the forearm that provide pinch by bending the tips of the thumb and index finger.
Because the nerve transfer procedure involves cutting and reattaching nerve and muscle tissues, time is required to regenerate working connections between the nerves and muscle as well as to allow the brain to relearn how to use and strengthen that muscle.
Spinal Cord Diseases
Spinal Cord Injuries
Procedure: Nerve Transfer Surgery
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
|Official Title:||Study of the Surgical Treatment of Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries With Nerve Transfers to Restore Upper Extremity and Hand Function|
- Upper extremity function. [ Time Frame: change from baseline at 6, 12, 24, 30 and 36 months post-surgery ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Upper extremity function as measured by manual muscle testing and range of motion as well as the Graded Redefined Assessment of Strength, Sensibility and Prehension (GRASSP) test (this is a standardized functional test to assess upper extremity function in patients with spinal cord injury) and International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) test (this is an examination used to determine the motor and sensory impairment and severity of a spinal cord injury).
- Health related quality of life. [ Time Frame: change from baseline at 6, 12, 24, 30 and 36 months post-surgery ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
The Short Form (SF) -36, Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM), Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) will be used to provide information about the patients quality of life and function.
Semi-structured interviews will be performed at 12-18 months following surgery to gain information about patient satisfaction, acceptability, and the subjective experience of the surgical intervention, therapy and functional outcome.
Biospecimen Retention: Samples Without DNA
|Study Start Date:||June 2012|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2018|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date:||June 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Nerve Transfer Surgery
This is an observational study that looks at function and quality of life in patients before and after nerve transfer surgery.
Procedure: Nerve Transfer Surgery
Unilateral surgery will be performed under general non-paralytic anesthesia and no-tourniquet conditions to allow for responsive nerve simulation.
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01899664
|United States, Missouri|
|Washington University Division of Plastic Surgery|
|Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63110|
|Principal Investigator:||Ida K. Fox, MD||Washington University School of Medicine|