What is the goal of surgery for leprosy?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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In leprosy management, the goal of most surgical procedures is to remedy motor paralysis due to primary nerve impairment. Claw fingers and Z-thumbs caused by ulnar nerve paralysis are among the most common deformities. Clawed hands are repaired with arthrodesis or with a tendon transfer to 1 of 4 insertion sites on the finger: interosseus tendons, proximal phalanx, dorsal extensor expansion, or flexor sheath annular pulleys. The palmaris longus, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor carpi radialis longus, and extensor indices are tendons that can be used for transfer. Tendon transfers are also used to repair abduction and opposition of the thumb, dorsiflexion of the foot, and flexion and extension of the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints, respectively.

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