Nothing to lose


Nothing to lose: A phenomenological study of
upper limb nerve transfer surgery for individuals
with tetraplegia. This qualitative study, undertaken by Alysha Moonel, Alana E. Hewitta, and Jodie Hahne, aims to understand the experience of surgery on the lives of individuals with tetraplegia 18 months post-surgery.

Reanimating hand movement after spinal chord injury

university of melbourne pursuit, july 2019

A study by the University of Melbourne and Austin Health has found that nerve transfer surgery for people suffering tetraplegia after a traumatic spinal cord injury can improve independence. Every year between 250,000 and 500,000 people worldwide suffer a spinal cord injury, with just over 50 per cent resulting in tetraplegia that results in some degree of paralysis in all four limbs—the legs and arms.

Nerve transfer patient discusses his experiences

BBC SOUNDS, july 2019

Joel became paralysed after a fall down stairs damaged nerves in his spine. Breakthrough nerve transfer surgery has given him a level of independence previously impossible - he discusses the accident, the operation and the new life he is now able to lead, with Michaela Graichen from the BBC.

"Rewiring Nerves" Reverses Hand and Arm Paralysis

BBC news online, july 2019

Nerves inside paralysed people's bodies have been "rewired" to give movement to their arms and hands, say Australian surgeons. Patients can now feed themselves, put on make-up, turn a key, handle money and type at a computer.Paul Robinson, 36 from Brisbane, said the innovative surgery had given him independence he had never imagined.

Paralyzed man regains use of hands thanks to innovative nerve surgery

CNN, july 2019

After undergoing nerve transfer surgery, a technique pioneered on spinal cord injuries by surgeons in Australia, Paul Robinson is now able to use his hands and arms to propel his own wheelchair, pick up items from the ground, and with one hand use a television remote control and hold a glass.

Australian surgeons rewiring nerves

BBC Sounds, july 2019

Breakthrough nerve surgery is restoring hand movement in paralysed people and is changing lives.

'Life-Changing' Nerve Surgery Helps Paralysed People Regain Hand And Arm Movement

huff post, july 2019

According to a study published in The Lancet, two years after surgery and following intensive physical therapy, participants were able to reach their arm out in front of them and open their hand to pick up and manipulate objects. Lead researcher Dr Natasha van Zyl from Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia told HuffPost UK the surgery is “a life-changing event” which enables people to do everyday tasks without the use of aids and adaptive devices.

Treize tétraplégiques ont pu réutiliser leurs bras grâce à une technique de transfert de nerfs

le monde (french language), july 2019

Il y a deux ans, un tétraplégique retrouvait l’usage de son bras avec une neuroprothèse. Une nouvelle avancée a été réalisée : treize tétraplégiques ont pu à nouveau se servir de leurs bras pour certaines actions, grâce à une technique de transfert de nerfs, selon une étude australienne publiée dans la revue The Lancet vendredi 5 juillet.

Paralysed patients can use hands after nerve surgery

the times, july 2019

The procedure, which connects functioning nerves to damaged ones in tetraplegic patients, has helped 13 people to regain movement and motor skills, a study showed. Nerve transfer surgery is usually used in patients with localised injuries to their arms and hands and its use in bringing movement back to paralysed limbs is new.

Paralysis patients given fresh hope after breakthrough nerve surgery restores hand and arm movement

ITV, july 2019

Australian surgeons were able to attach nerves connected to working muscles just above the spinal injury, to nerves attached to the paralysed muscle below it. After two years of physical therapy, the adults were able to open and close their hands to pick up objects and reach out their arms.

Surgery restores hand and arm movement in 13 people with complete paralysis

bicester advertiser, july 2019

Surgeons in Australia attached nerves connected to working muscles above the spinal injury to nerves attached to the paralysed muscle below it. The working nerves were then able to “reanimate” the paralysed muscle in people with tetraplegia, the paralysis of the upper and lower limbs.

13 tetrapléjicos recuperan la función de brazos y manos con una nueva cirugía

el mundo (spanish language), july 2019

Una cirugía de transferencia de nervios devuelve la movilidad de brazo y mano a los pacientes, que pueden volver a escribir, lavarse los dientes o alimentarse por sí mismos.

Paralysed patients regain use of their hands with pioneering nerve transfer operation

the independent, july 2019

People who were leby traumatic spinal damage have regained the use of their hands and the ability to perform daily tasks through a pioneering ransfer technique.Surgeons in Australia have successfully performed the operation in 13 young adults who were paralysed in both their arms and legs (tetraplegia) before their surgery.

Trece personas tetrapléjicas vuelven a mover las manos gracias a una cirugía que reconstruye los nervios

la vanguardia (spanish language), july 2019

La operación les ha permitido coger objetos, alimentarse por sí mismos, escribir y utilizar dispositivos electrónicos, lo que les da una mayor autonomía y mejora su calidad de vida

Remarkable Nerve Transfer Surgery Restores Hand Movement To People With Paralysis

ifl science, july 2019

A cervical spinal cord injury is a life-changing injury that can affect anyone in a single stroke of misfortune. However, a pioneering surgical procedure is helping to undo some of the devastating damage spinal cord injuries can do, gifting people with complete paralysis the ability to write, draw, and freely move their hands once again.

"It Changed My Life"

The sun, july 2019

More than a dozen completely paralysed adults can now write, feed themselves and even drive thanks to “life-changing” surgery. All 13 patients were tetraplegic - unable to move their hands, arms or legs - following back injuries in their 20s. Now they can all carry out everyday tasks, such as brush their hair and use computers, after surgeons connected nerves above and below the spinal break.

Groundbreaking nerve surgery allows 13 paralysed patients to regain the use of their arms to brush their teeth, write and use their phones

daily mail july 2019

Groundbreaking nerve surgery has allowed 13 patients paralysed in car crashes and sporting accidents to use their arms again.  Doctors in Australia have successfully reconnected the patients' limbs to their brains by grafting healthy nerves in the place of damaged ones.

Paralysed patients can use hands again after revolutionary surgery july 2019

Thirteen people who were completely paralysed can now perform everyday tasks after pioneering nerve surgery restored movement in their elbows and hands. Surgeons in Australia successfully attached nerves connected to working muscles above the spinal injury to nerves attached to paralysed muscle below.

Surgeons restore hand and arm function in paralysed patients

sky news july 2019

A number of patients who were diagnosed with complete paralysis have been given new hope, after pioneering nerve surgery restored movement in their elbows and hands. Australian surgeons were able to attach nerves connected to working muscles above the spinal injury, to nerves attached to the paralysed muscle below it.The working nerves were then able to "reanimate" the previously paralysed muscle in people with tetraplegia, which is the paralysis of the upper and lower limbs.

Holding His Nerve – Television

7.30 Report, July 2016

When 19-year-old Jack Vawdrey dived into a friend’s pool and hit the bottom, his life changed forever. The talented young footballer woke in hospital a quadriplegic. But instead of a life of near-immobility, it turned out he was the ideal candidate for groundbreaking surgery that creates new nerve circuit.

Holding His Nerve – Article

ABC News, July 2016

Meet Jack, who, thanks to Revolutionary Surgery, is regaining his independence one nerve at a time.  By 7.30’s Rachael Brown, Photography by Margaret Burin.

Upper Limb Reinnervation in C6 Tetraplegia Using a Triple Nerve Transfer: Case Report

The Journal of Hand Surgery, 2014

Restoration of elbow extension, grasp, key pinch, and release are major goals in low-level tetraplegia. Traditionally, these functions are achieved using tendon transfers. In this case these goals were achieved using nerve transfers. We present a 21-year-old man with a C6 level of tetraplegia.


Nerve surgery gives people with quadriplegia use of their hands

Victorian Government Health Information Website

Vic surgery hope for quadriplegics

The Australian, July 03, 2013

A hasty beach dive on Australia Day last year left Jim Anderson a quadriplegic.
“I didn’t do a very good shallow dive. Went in too straight and just hit the bottom,” the 23-year-old Victorian explains. “It wasn’t really painful. I just couldn’t feel anything.” The spinal cord injury that paralysed his limbs left him with no hand function and limited elbow movement. But during rehabilitation, he was offered groundbreaking surgery.


My Spinal Cord Injury – meet Joel

Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research Website 23 March 2015

The loss of hand function is one of the most devastating consequences of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) because of its severe impact on the everyday activities of daily living. Melbourne University Researcher Professor Mary Galea and Ms Natasha van Zyl, one of three specialist surgeons in the Upper Limb Program at Austin Health are carrying out pioneering research in support of nerve transfer surgery for SCI patients in Victoria.


Austin Health world-first surgery puts life back into hands of quadriplegics

Heidelberg Leader October 28, 2014

The bravery of a young man and a team of Austin Health surgeons has put life back into the hands of quadriplegics. Two years ago, a world-first surgery was performed on a 21-year-old man who had shattered one of his cervical vertebrae in his neck (called C6) after diving into the surf at Victoria’s Ninety Mile Beach on Australia Day 2012.


New nerve transfer surgery offers hope to victims of spinal cord injury

ABC AM website March 24, 2015

Most of us don’t think twice before picking up a pen, or the phone, or reaching for a fork, but loss of hand function is one of more devastating consequences of spinal cord injury.In the past, surgeons have experimented with tendon transfers, but a Melbourne team says nerve transfers offer more options and promise better results.