Doctors in St. Louis is pioneering a special surgery to help children regain movement and feeling in paralyzed limbs, the…
Doctors in St. Louis is pioneering a special surgery to help children regain movement and feeling in paralyzed limbs, the consequence of contracting a rare, polio-like virus.
Dr. Amy Moore or Washington University in St. Louis performed a nerve transfer surgery on an 8-year-old patient, Brandon, who had lost feeling in his legs from a bout of disease of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), local CBS affiliate KMOV reported on Tuesday.
AFM is a rare, yet serious disorder where a virus affects the spinal cord and quickly causes limb weakness or paralysis. It’s most prevalent in children, or about 400 have been diagnosed since 2014. Doctors are unclear what exactly causes the uptick in cases but said they believe it is linked to a respiratory virus that surges biannually and in the summer and fall. 1
9659002] For Brandon, his parents told KMOV that his symptoms progressed over a week’s time, from cold-like symptoms, to headache and neck pain, and within a few days he could not use his legs and get out of bed.  It is the first known surgery where doctors have transferred nerves from the lower extremities, Dr. Moore said.
“I used what they have. They were wiggling their toes, and so I was able to move a nerve that wiggles the toes to the hips, “she told KMOV.
Nerve transfer surgeries have proven successful for upper extremities. In 2014, Dr. Moore published a research paper on the growing preference for nerve transfer surgery for arm and hand weakness and spinal cord injuries.
“Nerve transfers viewed as ‘standard of care’ may not be far away,” she wrote in the paper published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology. “For tiden, de sikkert holder stor løfte og bør betraktes som å gjenopprette øvre ekstremitetsfunksjon hos pasienter med ødeleggende nerveskader.”
Los Angeles performed a nerve transfer surgery for California, where doctors at Children’s Hospital performed. a 19-year-old girl who acquired paralysis in her right arm after a bout or AFM.
For that surgery, surgeons took nerves from the young girls’ ribs and diaphragm and diverted them to her arm.
However, the st. Louis Case was the first to bring feel and movement to the young boy’s legs. The surgery took place 14 months earlier and during his checkup at the end of October, Brandon told KMOV that he is playing again, although he has to keep his wheelchair close by.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “Thanks Two Miss Doctor Moore, I can go outside, play with my brothers, play football. “
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