Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Man walks again after surgery to reverse muscle paralysis

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
After four years of confinement to a wheelchair, Rick Constantine, 58, is now walking again after undergoing an unconventional surgery to restore the use of his leg.

After four years of confinement to a wheelchair, Rick Constantine, 58, is now walking again after undergoing an unconventional surgery at University of California, San Diego Heath System to restore the use of his leg.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

After four years of confinement to a wheelchair, Rick Constantine, 58, is now walking again after undergoing an unconventional surgery at University of California, San Diego Heath System to restore the use of his leg. Neurosurgeon Justin Brown, MD, performed the novel 3-hour procedure.

"Following a car crash, Mr. Constantine had a brain stem stroke that caused paralysis on the right side of his body. His leg muscles became so severely spastic that he could not walk," said Brown, director of the Neurosurgery Peripheral Nerve Program at UC San Diego Health System. "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."

"After my injury, I was told I would never walk again. All I could to was move from my wheelchair to my bed or a chair," said Constantine, a former NASCAR crew member. "After surgery with Dr. Brown, I could put my foot flat on the ground to walk. With physical therapy, everything just gets better and better. I'm a firm believer in never giving up."

Prior to surgery, Constantine underwent botox treatments and physical therapy in an attempt to restore the use of his leg. The results were positive but minimal. An additional nerve conduction study, called an electromyogram (EMG), identified the muscles causing the dysfunction.

"When all other options did not produce satisfying results, we opted for surgery," said Brown. "With the EMG, we identified the over-excited nerves that needed to be downgraded. Mr. Constantine had surgery on a Friday and within days was in physical rehabilitation. Two weeks later he was walking without a walker and has even completed a 1-mile race without assistance."

The surgery, called a selective peripheral neurotomy, is a procedure performed under a microscope. Brown makes an incision behind the knee to reach the tibial nerve. He then selectively trims back the troublesome nerve branches by up to 80 percent. Cutting the nerve reduces the "noise" being relayed back to the spinal cord which causes the spasticity.

Brown, who also serves as co-director of the Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology at UC San Diego Health System, said the advantage to this approach is that the muscle is preserved and there is no need to cut or lengthen the tendon.

"Depending on the specific patient and their medical history, selective peripheral neurotomy may be appropriate for patients with brain and spinal cord injury from strokes or tumors, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis."

No special post-operative care is required as the sutures are absorbable. Rehabilitation can begin 72 hours after the procedure.

Constantine underwent physical therapy at VIP NeuroRehabilitation Center in San Diego.

The surgery, seldom performed in the United States, is more common in France and Japan. Brown has performed this surgery on six patients. Patients requiring information on this procedure should call 858-657-7000.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. The original article was written by Jackie Carr. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Man walks again after surgery to reverse muscle paralysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227134340.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2013, February 27). Man walks again after surgery to reverse muscle paralysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227134340.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Man walks again after surgery to reverse muscle paralysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227134340.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins