Hand Association News
Fall 2020

Working together to advance global hand care and education

Message from the AAHS President: Nash Naam, MD

Nash Naam, MD
Nash Naam, MD
AAHS President

2020 is a year that, borrowing from President FDR, will live in infamy. COVID-19 has touched almost every human being on our planet either personally, professionally, or in both ways. AAHS has not been immune to the sweeping changes and impacts of the pandemic. The American Association for Hand Surgery, like many professional organizations, has faced issues amidst the uncertainty and anxiety COVID-19 has caused.

One of AAHS's most difficult decisions this year was related to the Annual Meeting. After a careful and thoughtful discussion centered on maintaining the health and well-being of our members, attendees, faculty, staff and families, the Board reached the painful-yet-necessary decision to cancel the 2021 meeting. It was especially difficult because this year AAHS had received a record number of abstract submission, 584 total abstracts, and we know that authors, faculty, members and attendees were all looking forward to meeting in beautiful Hawaii. The program committee under the leadership of the capable Julie Adams, MD, Mark Rekant, MD, Cynthia Ivy, CHT and Vanessa Smith, PA are working diligently to organize virtual educational opportunities for the AAHS community in January in place of our traditional conference. Details and registration will be available shortly.

The Board also carefully and methodically examined and discussed the different options for leadership progression given there would be no Annual Meeting or business meeting in January. After careful evaluation of the various options, a vote by the Board decided that the current leadership would freeze for one year, meaning the current leadership will continue in the same capacity until the Annual Meeting in January 2022. This will allow members of the leadership to have the full experience of serving on the Board and give each member of the leadership the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.

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Mark Your Calendar and Register for the 2021 Sunday Webinar Series and On-Demand Virtual Sessions!

  • Sunday, January 10, 2021, 6:30pm ET: Miss the Masters? Distal Radius Fracture Management by the Very Best
  • Sunday, January 17, 2021, 6:30pm ET: You Have Some Nerve! Are Nerve Transfers Better than Tendon Transfers?
  • Sunday, January 24, 2021, 6:30pm ET: Ulnar Wrist Pain-Solutions from the Experts
  • Sunday, January 31, 2021, 6:30pm ET: What You Need To Know About Practice Management and Telemedicine in 2021
  • Sunday, February 7, 2021, 6:30pm ET: Ouch! Another Flexor Tendon Problem
  • Sunday, February 14, 2021, 6:30pm ET: Missed or Mismanaged Conditions
CME credit will be available for each webinar. Unable to attend the webinars live? No problem! AAHS will be recording all webinars, and recordings will be available for replay in the on-Demand Library. Beginning in January 2021, participants will also have access to the On-Demand library of pre-recorded abstract presentations and recorded webinars. CME credits will be available for each topic session.

Registration includes access to the entire Webinar Series and all sessions within the on-Demand Library.

Best Holmes Case by Andrew Zhang, MD

A 49 year old man suffered a high voltage electric injury to his L shoulder and R Leg. His entire scapula along with all of the muscles around it were necrotic and serially debrided. Only pec, lat, brachialis plexus, axillary vessels and some axillary soft tissue still remained attaching his arm to his body. Surprisingly he had normal elbow and hand function! He also underwent a right above the knee amputation due to the electric injury. To save his arm we employed 3 different static and dynamic suspension techniques to stabilize his shoulder. To provide static support, we hung his arm to his second rib using an Achilles’ tendon with bone allograft. We anchored the bony end into his humerus and tied the tendon end around his his second rib, we elevated the latissimus muscle and moved it to the posterior superior shoulder to cover the wound and also provide the poster superior dynamic pull. Lastly, we transferred a functional TFL/ALT composite flap to the anterior shoulder securing the muscle end to the the remaining clavicle and the tendon end to the humerus to provide additional dynamic support. We used the transverse cervical vessels for anastamosis and superscapular nerve for the neuronization. At over one year follow up, he retained full function, had no pain, was able to elevate his shoulder and did push-ups.

This case was first presented at the AAHS 2020 Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida as part of the Best Hercules vs. Best Holmes Cases session.

Therapist Corner: Role of Nutrition in Hand and Upper Extremity Rehab

Saba Kamal, OTR, CHT
Saba Kamal, OTR, CHT
Today’s patient is a well-researched person who prefers a holistic approach and is very conscious of what goes in their body. In the past there were very few patients who would ask me about their diet and what they should consume or avoid to help expedite the healing process. My usual response was to avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol. But today I have to keep a list based on their injury or disease of the upper quadrant. Here is an overview of what I offer to them. Hailing from India I feel like they expect me to know it all when it comes to herbs and diet. So, I dug up my heritage found the foods that assist with healing when treating patients with upper quadrant injury / disease process.

Caffeine – Avoid excessive intake as it works as a vasoconstrictor. It can restrict healing by limiting blood flow to the healing parts and thus should be avoided.

Excessive alcohol - works as a vasodilator and can cause swelling in the distal extremities causing stiffness in the digits, thus increased pain and increase in scar tissue formation.

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A Letter from the Editor

John Fowler, MD
John Fowler, MD
Editor, Hand Association News

In my last “Letter from the Editor”, COVID-19 was just becoming more widespread in the United States. I noted how uncertain everything was at that point. Six months later, little seems to have changed. Many of us have returned to more regular workloads. However, many institutions are still running outpatient clinics at half capacity and restricting certain “elective” surgeries. Prior to COVID-19, many of us were scolded if we didn’t remove our masks immediately upon leaving the operating room. Now masks are worn continuously in public spaces. There remains much uncertainty about the wisdom of returning to school, sports, and resuming “normal” life. Unfortunately, so much of the reaction to the pandemic seems to be based on one’s political beliefs rather than data and science.

I certainly look forward to the day when we as a society have effective medications and a vaccine(s) to control this virus. I look forward to scientific meetings that don’t take place on video conference and the chance to gather with friends and colleagues. I wish you all health and safety.

John Fowler
John Fowler, MD

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AAHS Upcoming Webinars with AAOS and Affiliates:

AAHS/AAOS Webinar: The Mangled Upper Extremity: Simplifying Reconstruction
Faculty: Suhail Mithani, MD, Kyle Eberlin, MD, Steven Koehler, MD
Date/Time: November 19, 2020 at 8:15 PM Eastern Time
FREE for AAHS members, registration will be available soon.
AAHS/ASHT/AAOS Webinar: Targeted Muscle Reinnervation
Faculty: Glenn Gaston, MD, Jaimie Shores, MD, Kerstin Baun, MPH, OTR/L, Norah Malkinski, OTR/L, CHT
Date/Time: December 3, 2020 at 8:15 PM Eastern Time
FREE for AAHS and ASHT members, registration will be available soon.

Join AAHS on Social Media!

Looking to get involved with AAHS? Volunteer to work with the AAHS Social Media Subcommittee on the Association’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms!

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