Young Man Has Successful Athletic Career Playing Basketball Despite Birth Brachial Plexus Palsy.
Today we have another story of a student who has successfully overcome their birth injury through determination and support. Mark Carney graduated with honors from Landstown High School in Virginia Beach after a successful academic and athletic career. Pilot Online has the details.
Mark was born with Erb’s Palsy or brachial plexus palsy. His nerves were damaged during the birth process. Despite undergoing numerous surgeries, he has little use of his right arm and fingers.
However, he isn’t someone who gives up. Even as a baby, he found a unique way to crawl to build strength. From the age of six, he played basketball and started playing at the scholastic level in middle school. To help him overcome his disability, he improved his athletic ability by lifting weights and running.
The varsity coach of Landstown High was impressed with what he saw, but the school’s athletic program was highly competitive. He wasn’t sure if he could make it. But Mark did and played as a guard/forward on the varsity team for the last two years of high school.
Now he’s considering whether to go for a psychology major or to major in vocal music. We’re glad that Mark’s determination has helped him overcome the problems of his disability. As he says in the story, “I don’t like pity stuff at all.”
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New Surgery Restores Arm Function In 13 Young Adults With Complete Paralysis
Science Daily reports on a new study in The Lancet about a new type of surgery that restored hand and elbow function in 13 people with complete paralysis. The surgery might bring hope to people with brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s Palsy.
The surgery is called nerve transfer surgery. Surgeons attach functioning nerves above the spinal injury to paralyzed nerves below. According to the study, the participants are now able to feed themselves, hold a drink, write, and brush their teeth two years after the surgery.
In some of the participants, the surgery was combined with traditional tendon transfers to study different kinds of reconstruction. The researchers transferred nerves in one hand and tendons in the other. Nerve transfers restored natural movement and fine motor control, while tendon transfers deliver power. Recovery times for nerve transfer surgery were far shorter than tendon transfers.
The participants said that they liked the particular benefits of each surgery and would not want to have the same surgery done on both hands now that they’ve seen the differences. However, it is not a perfect technique. Four of the nerve transfers failed with three participants. More research is needed, but the researchers are positive.
Erb’s Palsy is much less serious than complete paralysis, so we hope that this nerve transfer technique can be used in children with the condition soon so they can have normal arm and hand function.