Dr. Jana Dengler
MD, MASc, BASc, MD, MASc, BASc
Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating event that results in upper limb paralysis, loss of independence, and disability. At an estimated lifetime cost of $3 million, cervical SCI places a substantial economic burden on the individual and the healthcare system. People living with cervical SCI have identified improvement of upper limb function as a top priority. Nerve and tendon transfer surgery has successfully restored upper limb function in cervical SCI, but is not universally used or available to all eligible individuals. The barriers preventing utilization of upper limb reconstruction are a complex interrelation of individual, healthcare provider and system level factors. Our exploratory qualitative study will use an implementation science approach to better understand these factors that influence access to upper limb reconstruction in the Canadian context and design an intervention to increase access to care.