Some injuries to the upper limb cause injuries to nerves which can not be repaired or reconstructed. The muscles which are supplied by these nerves are hence paralysed and function is lost. The function of paralysed muscles can be successfully regained by substituting them with muscles supplied by normal nerves. Not all muscles are functionally important. These “not so “ important muscles are used to substitute paralysed muscles. This procedure is known as tendon transfer.
Common nerves to get paralysed in the hand are radial nerve , median nerve and ulnar nerve.
Time varies depending on the level of injury, severeness of injury ,age etc.
Tendon transfers done at optimal conditions ; provide near normal function to the patient. What to be remembered is that tendon transfer is not an emergency procedure. So any suboptimal conditions ( Eg : joint stiffness, weak muscles, scars etc ) needs to be corrected before attempting tendon transfer