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.

Related Articles


"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 November 23, 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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