From Bullet Wound to Bulletproof: One Patient’s Nerve Transfer Story

Ronnie Moseley never thought he’d be a statistic.

On January 9, 2014, his life changed forever when his firearm accidentally discharged, seriously wounding his left hand. In shock, he and his wife immediately rushed to the nearest emergency room, and he became one of the 200,000 annual U.S. residents involved in a non-fatal firearm injury.

“The incident occurred, and it changed my wife and me forever. My gun decided to shoot me in the palm of my left hand, and it did a great deal of damage,” says Moseley. “While waiting in the emergency room, God sent an angel in the form of Dr. Riggenbach.”

How Did Nerve Transfer Surgery Help?

Five days after the accident, Orlando Orthopaedic Center’s Michael D. Riggenbach, M.D., a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity surgery, performed nerve transfer surgery on Moseley’s hand to restore as much function as possible.

“Now I can hold my wife’s’ hands – for now and for the next 25 years”, says Moseley with a smile. He has also regained most of his grip strength and the ability to write with his dominant hand once more.

The surgery and the recovery were not easy, but Moseley is incredibly thankful for the efforts of Dr. Riggenbach and the entire Orlando Orthopaedic Center team.

Michael D. Riggenbach, M.D

Michael D. Riggenbach, M.D

“My message to Dr. Riggenbach is, thank you. Thank you so much for giving life back to my left hand and arm, after a life-changing event,” he says. “With Dr. Riggenbach all things are possible. With his skill, his knowledge, and his patience.”

Dr. Riggenbach focuses his practice on operative and nonoperative care of the upper extremity including the hand, wrist, shoulder and elbow for adults and pediatric patients.

With a special interest in treating complex nerve injuries, Dr. Riggenbach started the Peripheral Nerve Center at Orlando Orthopaedic Center to help patients just like Moseley. The center serves as a multi-specialty collaboration of physicians and surgeons to care for patients with traumatic and chronic nerve injuries and conditions of the upper extremities.

“The goal of the center is to offer patients the highest quality comprehensive care available for peripheral nerve and brachial plexus injuries and conditions throughout the Central Florida region,” says Dr. Riggenbach. “Mr. Moseley’s injuries were consistent with the complex injuries we treat and we were, of course, glad we could help restore function to his hand.”