Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Francesco Paoli Undergoes Additional Surgery to Repair Ulnar Nerve
Fleshgod Apocalypse singer Francesco Paoli is continuing a lengthy recovery after taking a significant fall last year during a rock climbing accident that left the musician with several fractures. In a new update, Paoli reveals that he recently required additional surgery after his ulnar nerve was not healing as hoped.
The initial incident took place on Aug. 21, 2021 with it being reported that Paoli suffered "several fractures" and had been in stable condition at a local hospital. The vocalist offered a lengthier update on his recovery process in which he detailed the most recent surgery that required the transplant of a nerve taken from his left leg into his elbow to help repair the ulnar nerve, which had an 8 cm interruption.
The ulnar nerve runs near the ulnar bone and is the largest in the human body unprotected by muscle or bone, so injury is common. This nerve is directly connected to the little finger, and the adjacent half of the ring finger, innervating the palmar aspect of these fingers, including both the front and back of the tips, perhaps as far back as the fingernail beds. So, as you can imagine, with the nerve having so much to do with the fingers, Paoli has had pain while picking up the guitar again during his recovery.
Paoli detailed his recent surgery and how his recovery process has gone so far in a lengthy posting shared via the band's Instagram that can be read in full below:
Hey everyone, after a long time I can finally update you on my recovery status.
I perfectly know that these times bring more important issues to be concerned of, but I also know that some of you care about my situation and I promised to keep you updated. As I told you before, in consequence of my accident, I reported several injuries to my bones and muscles which I’ve been able to recover in the last few months. Besides though, I severely injured my ulnar nerve, which is one of those serving the hand region and, if dysfunctional, might cause a hand/fingers semi/full paralysis and loss of muscular functionality. Usually, the hand conditions improve in the first 6 months after the first surgery as nerves self-repair when possible. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my case. The suspect of a nerve interruption, which medical checks evidenced lately, was real and, as I said, severe. The other day, 10th of March, I got another surgery for some extra wires removal and for a further inspection of my ulnar nerve. It came out that I had an 8 cm interruption on it, plus a huge neuroma, which is basically a cluster of scars, in the elbow area. Since this kind of issue has no way to be fixed and it’s extremely painful, there’s been no other choice than removing the dead section and proceed with a transplant of another nerve, promptly taken from my left leg. They basically withdrew 30 cm of my sural nerve, cut it in three parts, made a little braid of it and implanted it in my elbow to give continuity to the remaining ulnar nerve pieces.
This self donation, of course, is not for free, as I’ll have permanent damages to my foot/leg sensitivity, but it was unavoidable. Fortunately, it won’t affect my foot/leg motility. On the other hand though, this will bring me to a complete new life, where my hand can actually improve its functionality, even if slowly, and the pain (much of it at least) should be finally gone. For instance, playing guitar was becoming a real nightmare lately. Now I’m good, in caring hands and with a pretty fast prognosis, 3/4 weeks of straight back to rehab. I really can’t wait to relearn how to walk for the 4/5th time in my life, ahah, and of course to come back stronger and perform for you all around the world! Next stop is Norway on 7th of May!
Anyway, sorry if I’ve made it too long but I really wanted to involve you more in detail and show you how incredible science can be and how thankful we should be to those who dedicate their lives to take care of us. It’s just crazy to think that the people who did this magic on me are made with no different flesh than those who send human beings to shoot each other everyday down the road.
It’s still impossible nowadays to quantify how much we can be the worst enemies of ourselves.
Evidently some humans can just bring war and destroy while some others, instead, are able to bring life and create. I’ll always be devoted to the latter, supporting them in all the possible ways and trusting Science as my only one religion.
In conclusion I just wanted to reassure you and invite you to be strong, appreciate life no matter what and spread peace.
Love you all.
All this with one hand.
Paoli, who was the group's original lead vocalist, reclaimed the lead vocal spot in the band in 2017 after the exit of Tommaso Riccardi. He remained in the group during Riccardi's run, still playing drums and guitars and lending backing vocals. He reclaimed rhythm guitar duties in 2017.
While the band's last studio album was 2019's Valeno, they've remained busy during the pandemic issuing two EPs in 2020 (The Day We'll Be Gone and No), and Blue (Turns to Red) last year.
We wish Francesco Paoli well in his continued recovery.