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Cervical Spinal Cord Injury – Risks

May 3, 2021


The primary risk of undertaking a reconstructive procedure to restore function after a cervical spinal cord injury is the concept that you could actually weaken the muscle that you're taking from. We typically choose transfers based on redundancy. That is, we only use a muscle or a nerve that has a backup muscle or nerve. For example, if we have two wrist extensors, we will take one. If you have two muscles that externally rotate the shoulder, we will take one while leaving the other. So most cases, this is not a significant concern. But rarely a patient has lost a function that we didn't anticipate. As with any surgery there is always the possibility that you could overweaken the muscles that are being taken from. This has been a very rare occurrence in our practice. As with any surgery, there are risks, and you should talk to your reconstructive surgeon about the risks involved in your particular case.

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