Tendon Replacement Journey

In life, we take so many things for granted. Tucking our children in at night, giving and receiving hugs, preparing food for our families. We never notice just how important the little things are until we are no longer able to do them. Danny knows exactly what it is like to no longer have these simple pleasures.

Danny was a candidate for innovative surgery called a tricep tendon transfer (TTT) performed at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. This surgery would allow Danny to have use of his arms and return to almost full function. Let that sink in for a minute. Prior surgery Danny did not have any use of either tricep muscle. Both arms had limited movement with only one functioning muscle, the bicep.

At Danny’s two-week appointment, the casts were removed and replaced. Danny reports, “Things are finally starting to feel better. My pain level has leveled off and is much more tolerable. I am going a bit stir crazy but I'm looking forward to a whole new world of opportunity just around the corner. I am so excited to my have my parents and daughter coming to visit over the weekend. It's going to be a huge morale booster.” After these casts are removed, Danny will be wearing two full arm rigid splints and starting occupational therapy for eight weeks.

He will stay at rehab in Atlanta for ten more weeks.To say the benefits of the surgery are life-changing isn’t an exaggeration. Life! Changing! When I asked Danny what he will be able to do with his “new arms” this was his immediate and tearful reply, “I will be able to reach my arms straight out and grab a hold of my daughter and hold her tight to my chest. I will potentially be able to lift myself straight up in my chair with my arms. I will be able to lift myself up and scoot over to another chair or even get myself into bed. I’ll be able to reach up over my head without my arm flapping over and hitting myself in the face. With this added arm movement, I will have the ability to wash my own face and hair. I will be able to scratch an itch on my head.

”Once the casts are removed, he will be doing physical and occupational therapy approximately three times per week at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He will have to stay in Atlanta for approximately three months with 24/7 care. The rehabilitation process is long and enduring. But you can see Danny is still enjoying life as he works towards his goal.

It takes lots of support, both from caregivers and pillows. The support Danny has received on his social media page is overflowing! Words of encouragement pour in and friends send well wishes. Friends post one word comments like, “Unstoppable” and give him titles like, “Warrior”. One surfer buddy posted, “Your one tough dude!” Danny has such a great support system.

Danny, I can easily say you are resilient! Keep working hard and we can’t wait to see the things you will accomplish after full recovery.


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