Tendon transfer surgery is a type of hand surgery that is performed in order to improve lost hand function.
During this surgery, a functioning tendon is shifted from its original attachment to a new one to restore the action that has been lost.
Many different conditions can be treated by this procedure. It is necessary when a certain muscle function is lost because of a nerve injury. If a nerve is injured and cannot be repaired, then the nerve no longer sends signals to certain muscles. Those muscles are paralyzed and their muscle function is lost. This surgery can be used to attempt to replace that function. Common nerve injuries that are treated with this procedure are spinal cord, radial nerve, ulnar nerve, or median nerve injury.
This surgery may also be needed if a muscle function has been lost due to a disorder of the nervous system. In this situation, the nervous system disease or injury prevents normal nerve signa ls from being sent to a muscle, and imbalance in hand function occurs. The muscle imbalance or muscle loss due to nervous system disease may be treated with tendon transfers. Common nervous system disorders treated with this surgery are cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal muscle atrophy.