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Surgeon Restores Movement to Children with Polio-Like Illness

Healthline reports that Scott W. Wolfe, MD, hand and upper extremity surgeon at HSS, has been using an innovative, complex technique to successfully restore muscular function in young patients who have a devastating neurological illness resembling polio.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were 201 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 40 states last year alone.

"Most affected patients are children and teenagers," Dr. Wolfe tells Healthline. "Within a day or two, nearly all experience rapid, progressive paralysis — a partial or complete loss of muscle function in their arms or legs. While some patients regain function, many suffer some degree of permanent paralysis. No nonsurgical treatment has been shown to be effective," he explains.

One of Dr. Wolfe's patients, Kale Hyder, was 15 when he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis (of which AFM is a subcategory). After being told he had no options, Dr. Wolfe performed two nerve transfers in his arms and then a tendon transfer. Kale continues intensive post-operative therapy to this day but has restored muscular function in his hands.

"What Dr. Wolfe did for Kale is absolutely amazing. He gave him his independence," explains Kale's mother Marcy Hyder.

Read the full article at Healthline.com.