Surgery restores function after muscle paralysis

Surgeons at the University of California, San Diego Health System performed a procedure to restore function in a patient who experienced muscle paralysis after a car accident, according to a news release.

The 58-year-old male had a stroke after he was in involved in a car accident that resulted in severe leg spasms and paralysis of the right side of his body. He underwent a selective peripheral neurotomy, which removes the problematic nerve branches causing the spasticity. According to Justin Brown, MD, co-director of the UC San Diego Health System Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology, this procedure preserves the muscle and there is no need to cut or lengthen the tendon.

“Our team performed a delicate surgery to reduce input from the nerves that were causing the muscles to over contract to the point of disability,” Brown stated in the release.

Within 72 hours of the surgery, the patient was able to begin rehabilitative therapy. “Two weeks later, he was walking without a walker and has even completed a one-mile race without assistance,” Brown said.

According to Brown, selective peripheral neurotomy may be appropriate for patients with brain and spinal cord injury resulting from strokes or tumors, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. To date, he has performed this procedure on six patients.

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