ABSTRACT: The Andrew J. Weiland Medal is presented each year by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand for a body of work related to hand surgery research. This essay, awarded the Weiland Medal in 2011, focuses on the clinical need for flexor tendon reconstruction and on investigations into flexor tendon biology. Reconstruction of the upper extremity is limited by 2 major problems after injury or degeneration of the flexor tendons. First, adhesions formed after flexor tendon repair can cause decreased postoperative range of motion and hand function. Second, tendon losses can result from trauma and degenerative diseases, necessitating additional tendon graft material. Tendon adhesions are even more prevalent after tendon grafting; therefore these 2 problems are interrelated and lead to considerable disability. The total costs in terms of disability and inability to return to work are enormous. In this essay, published work from the past 12 years in our basic science laboratory is summarized and presented with the common theme of using molecular techniques to understand the cellular process of flexor tendon wound healing and to create substances and materials to improve tendon repair and regeneration. These are efforts to address 2 interrelated and clinically relevant problems that all hand surgeons face in their practice.
The Journal of hand surgery 03/2012; 37(3):552-61. · 1.33 Impact Factor