There is a need in Cyprus for patients suffering from tetraplegia following spinal cord injury and also brain injury or stroke for assessments as to how their upper limb function can improve, either through targeted physiotherapy or through reconstructive surgery.
Responding to this need, the team of Tetrahand Cyprus was created in March 2016. The team comprises of world established Professor Jan Friden of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil Switzerland, Mr Constantinos Kritiotis, Consultant Hand Surgeon in Iasis Private Hospital Paphos and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, UK, Sabrina Koch-Borner, Physiotherapist of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre and Christiana Fakonti, Physiotherapist of the Paraplegic Department of Nicosia General Hospital. The aim of this service is to provide reconstructive surgery and advanced patient-specific rehabilitation to this demanding group of patients.
The main procedures that are carried out are :
1. Surgery to reestablish shoulder and elbow control
2. Surgery to reestablish a functional grip
3. Spasticity reduction surgery which can lead to better hygiene and posture of the patient as well as in some cases with functional improvement.
So far, the team has assessed over 25 patients and performed ten successful reconstructions in eight patients. The patients are operated in Iasis Private Hospital in Paphos and rehabilitated in the Paraplegic Department of Nicosia General Hospital. More complex and demanding patients are referred to the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil, Switzerland.
In parallel, we also have an academic development as evidenced by our presence in two International Conferences, the Tetrahand World Congress which was held in Switzerland in August 2018 and the FESSH Annual Congress which was held in Copenhagen in June 2018. Further to the above, we also provide mini observerships for international surgeons. We were more than happy to welcome Mr James Bedford, of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Mr Michael David, of University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire who attended our work from 21/10/2018 to 26/10/2018 here in Cyprus.
We aim to continue and expand our service in order to provide a comprehensive neurohand service for the people of Cyprus and also patients from neighboring countries as well.
PHOTO: From Left to the right Mr Michael David Visiting surgeon (observer) Mr James Bedford Visiting Surgeon (observer) Mr Constantinos Kritiotis Consultant Hand Surgeon and Professor Jan Friden