Upper Limb Reconstruction in Persons with Tetraplegia

Upper Extremity Reconstruction for Tetraplegia
  • Scott H. KozinEmail author
  • Dan A. Zlotolow
  • Joshua M. Abzug
Reference work entry


Tetraplegia is challenging to treat and requires a team of competent and caring physicians and nurses. The initial goal is to facilitate the transition from able-bodied life to a life complicated by spinal cord injury. The issues are enormous and the task seems overwhelming to the patient. Through a series of small steps, the patient is often able to make the changeover. However, complications are endemic including depression, spasticity, autonomic dysreflexia, urinary retention, and decubiti. As part of the rehabilitation, an assessment of the upper extremities is integral. Many patients can benefit from tendon transfers to improve motion and function. The potential to restore elbow extension, wrist extension, pinch, and grasp is critical for independence and spontaneity. This chapter will discuss the evaluation, treatment regimen, and surgical techniques applicable to the person with spinal cord injury.


Spinal Cord Injury Functional Electrical Stimulation Biceps Tendon Tendon Transfer Wrist Extension 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott H. Kozin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dan A. Zlotolow
    • 1
  • Joshua M. Abzug
    • 2
  1. 1.Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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