Life After Tendon Transfer Surgery (Video)

Life after my tendon transfer surgery is wonderful! I have personally gained the ability to straighten (extend) my arm.

Although I still have more strength to gain, the additional ability has already improved my ability in self-care and increased independence. To name a few new things that I can do – I can push light objects away from me, reaching out and flipping a light switch on and off, sliding something on a table and reaching over my head and not having my hand smack me in the face.

Several exciting things have occurred since I have been home from rehabilitation. I was featured in the local Sowal Life newspaper. The story was titled “Life Rolls On” and it certainly does!

Returning to work was a blessing. Many of my colleagues have become part of my everyday support system. Work as a Realtor is validating and always offers a sense of adventure (everyday is different in this occupation). My new found strength, following my surgery in Atlanta, has improved my abilities at work as well. I am happy to report that business is on the rise in the panhandle of Florida! My tendon replacement has positioned me for greater success.

I have returned to doing things with my daughter, which of course is my favorite thing in the world to do! And what about hugging? I am ecstatic that everyday I provide Summer with hugs, each time feeling like perhaps I am hugging her a little tighter. I am now able to open both arms wide to signal to her to come over for a two-arm hug.

I do not want to rain on this parade but everything has not been perfect. Although I have much more range of motion with my arms my shoulders, biceps and wrist are still a little bit weaker prior to the surgery. I sustained a lot of atrophy in the time while I wore the cast and was splinted. My biggest regret, or possibly my only regret, is not strengthening more prior to the surgery. The surgeon advised me to do more therapy than I ever had done before the surgery and I did not listen. This is probably why I am struggling to get back some of the strength I had.

I am very confident that all of my strength will return and my tendon transfer will get much stronger. I am still going to physical therapy three times per week. As anyone with a spinal cord injury knows, physical progress is at a snail’s pace. We must be patient. 


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