Hand Transplant Recipient Continues to Gain Strength And Movement Six Weeks Post Surgery

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Jewish Hospital from ,Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLL

    LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Patient Jerry Fisher, the second
 person in the United States to receive a hand transplant, will answer
 questions from the media at a press conference six weeks following the
 innovative experimental procedure.  Fisher will be joined by lead hand surgeon
 Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center,
 PLLC, lead transplant surgeon Darla K. Granger, M.D., University of
 Louisville, and physical and occupational therapists Laurie Newsome and Joann
 Keller, both from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates.
     Mary Klausing, R.N. from the VNA Home Care Network will discuss nursing
 and personal care being provided to Fisher during his stay in Louisville.  A
 special announcement from Kentucky Derby Festival president Mike Berry will
 also be made at the news conference.
     The news conference is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, April
 4 in the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Center, Conference Center, 16th
 floor, 201 Abraham Flexner Way.  The conference will be up linked via
 satellite: Ku-Band SBS 6, Transponder 3, Horizontal Polarity Downlink
 Frequency 11774 MHZ. The signal will be available at 9:45 a.m. (EDT).
     "Sensation is expected to return to Fisher's hand in stages beginning at
 six months following surgery rather than all at once.  Regrowth of the nerve
 fibers to the tip of the fingers must take place," explains Breidenbach.  "He
 should first experience a pin prickling feeling, then hot and cold sensation,
 and later pressure.  The final stage, being able to identify an object by
 feeling, may take up to five years."
     Fisher takes part in a two-hour physical therapy session six days a week
 and does therapy every two hours on his own using repetition of movement of
 his fingers and thumb and rotating his arm and wrist.  He says, "I like going
 to hand therapy because I can see my progress.  It is the highlight of my
 day."  Following the hand transplant and transfer of one tendon to restore
 thumb function, he was able to straighten his elbow for the first time March
 19.  He can move his fingers and thumb and slightly move his finger tips, can
 pinch with the index finger and thumb, and can hold objects in his new hand.
 He can pick up and release objects and has good movement and wrist control.
     Keller has fitted Fisher with a new, much smaller brace, which he uses
 during his hand therapy sessions.  "The new 'hand based anti-claw' brace
 primarily fits only on his new hand and is used to prevent the contracture of
 the fingers into a poor position," says Keller.  When not in therapy, Fisher
 wears the much larger, "crane outrigger" brace.
     Fisher will remain in accommodations near the Jewish Hospital Medical
 Campus for the next six weeks to be monitored for signs of a rejection
 episode, which are expected, and to continue his hand therapy sessions.  He
 looks forward to returning home and said, "I miss my wife and boys, but talk
 to them daily."  Family and friends visit him on weekends.
     The transplant procedure performed Feb. 16-17 at Jewish Hospital included
 an 18-member hand transplant surgical team from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates
 Hand Care Center, and the University of Louisville as well as a five-member
 team from Anesthesiology Associates.  Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, an
 organ procurement organization, coordinated the donation of the hand.  The
 group of surgeons that performed the procedure also performed the nation's
 first hand transplant on Matthew Scott two years ago.
     Information, photography and streaming video are also available on our web
 site at www.handtransplant.com or www.jewishhospital.org.
 
 

SOURCE Jewish Hospital; Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLL;
    LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Patient Jerry Fisher, the second
 person in the United States to receive a hand transplant, will answer
 questions from the media at a press conference six weeks following the
 innovative experimental procedure.  Fisher will be joined by lead hand surgeon
 Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center,
 PLLC, lead transplant surgeon Darla K. Granger, M.D., University of
 Louisville, and physical and occupational therapists Laurie Newsome and Joann
 Keller, both from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates.
     Mary Klausing, R.N. from the VNA Home Care Network will discuss nursing
 and personal care being provided to Fisher during his stay in Louisville.  A
 special announcement from Kentucky Derby Festival president Mike Berry will
 also be made at the news conference.
     The news conference is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, April
 4 in the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Center, Conference Center, 16th
 floor, 201 Abraham Flexner Way.  The conference will be up linked via
 satellite: Ku-Band SBS 6, Transponder 3, Horizontal Polarity Downlink
 Frequency 11774 MHZ. The signal will be available at 9:45 a.m. (EDT).
     "Sensation is expected to return to Fisher's hand in stages beginning at
 six months following surgery rather than all at once.  Regrowth of the nerve
 fibers to the tip of the fingers must take place," explains Breidenbach.  "He
 should first experience a pin prickling feeling, then hot and cold sensation,
 and later pressure.  The final stage, being able to identify an object by
 feeling, may take up to five years."
     Fisher takes part in a two-hour physical therapy session six days a week
 and does therapy every two hours on his own using repetition of movement of
 his fingers and thumb and rotating his arm and wrist.  He says, "I like going
 to hand therapy because I can see my progress.  It is the highlight of my
 day."  Following the hand transplant and transfer of one tendon to restore
 thumb function, he was able to straighten his elbow for the first time March
 19.  He can move his fingers and thumb and slightly move his finger tips, can
 pinch with the index finger and thumb, and can hold objects in his new hand.
 He can pick up and release objects and has good movement and wrist control.
     Keller has fitted Fisher with a new, much smaller brace, which he uses
 during his hand therapy sessions.  "The new 'hand based anti-claw' brace
 primarily fits only on his new hand and is used to prevent the contracture of
 the fingers into a poor position," says Keller.  When not in therapy, Fisher
 wears the much larger, "crane outrigger" brace.
     Fisher will remain in accommodations near the Jewish Hospital Medical
 Campus for the next six weeks to be monitored for signs of a rejection
 episode, which are expected, and to continue his hand therapy sessions.  He
 looks forward to returning home and said, "I miss my wife and boys, but talk
 to them daily."  Family and friends visit him on weekends.
     The transplant procedure performed Feb. 16-17 at Jewish Hospital included
 an 18-member hand transplant surgical team from Kleinert, Kutz and Associates
 Hand Care Center, and the University of Louisville as well as a five-member
 team from Anesthesiology Associates.  Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, an
 organ procurement organization, coordinated the donation of the hand.  The
 group of surgeons that performed the procedure also performed the nation's
 first hand transplant on Matthew Scott two years ago.
     Information, photography and streaming video are also available on our web
 site at www.handtransplant.com or www.jewishhospital.org.
 
 SOURCE  Jewish Hospital; Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLL;