Hand Function pp 137-162 | Cite as

Hand Function in Tetraplegia

  • Tuğçe Özekli Mısırlıoğlu
  • Şafak Sahir Karamehmetoğlu


Cervical spinal cord injury, tetraplegia, results in impairment or loss of motor and/or sensory function in the arms, as well as the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. Among all, impaired motor and sensory function in arms and hands is one of the most debilitating results of the C-SCI.

Restoration of hand and arm function during rehabilitation is of crucial importance considering their key role in the ADL, the level of independence, quality of life, and community participation. Evaluation of the efficacy of rehabilitation and experimental interventions can only be achieved by standardized tests that assess upper extremity function validly and reliably. Numerous tests and/or outcome measures have been designed to evaluate upper extremity function in humans; however, only a few of them have been proved to be valid and reliable for the assessment of individuals with tetraplegia.

The tests that evaluate the upper limb function can be categorized according to the three levels of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health, namely “body function and structure,” “activity,” and “participation.” Among these, tests that evaluate the performance of arm and hand at the “activity” level by assessing the ADL tasks are continuously being recommended as standard outcome measures, since they are believed to reflect patients’ real performance. “Action Research Arm Test,” “Sollerman Hand Function Test,” “The Capabilities of Upper Extremity Questionnaire,” “Grasp and Release Test,” “Van Lieshout Test,” “Quadriplegia Index of Function,” and “SCIM-III” are examples to the most commonly used outcome measures at the level of activities.


Tetraplegia Hand Wrist Finger Functional assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuğçe Özekli Mısırlıoğlu
    • 1
  • Şafak Sahir Karamehmetoğlu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationIstanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Medical FacultyIstanbulTurkey

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