The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant Applicants for 2020 requested more than $4.1 million. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic and Translational Research and Clinical Research Evaluated 111 applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded Research Grants totaling more than $860,000 to support 24 plastic surgery research proposals.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Botulinum Toxin Type A for Cold Sensitivity after Hand Trauma

Principal Investigator
Christine Novak PT, PhD


University Health Network

Funding Mechanism
AAHS/PSF Research Grant

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity

Many people after a hand injury have severe pain in mild cold temperatures and this abnormal cold reaction is related to high levels of disability. We have a poor understanding of the mechanisms of this condition or what can be done to manage abnormal cold sensitivity. Botulinum Toxin A has been used successfully to treat patients with Raynaud's phenomenon and neuropathic pain. These studies have shown substantial improvement in circulation and decreased pain. The main objective of this pilot study is to investigate the effect of Botulinum Toxin A for the treatment of severe cold sensitivity after hand trauma. The specific aims are: 1) to investigate the changes in self-report cold symptoms and skin temperature after injection of Botulinum Toxin A; and 2) to evaluate the relationship between cold sensitivity, pain and skin temperatures after injection of Botulinum Toxin A. This prospective repeated measures study will include adult hand trauma patients with cold sensitivity and are at least six months following injury. Patients will undergo a single session of Botulinum Toxin A injections in the region of the neurovascular bundles of the affected digits. Patients will be evaluated pre-treatment and post-treatment (30 minutes for adverse effects, 2 weeks and 2 months) using a validated assessment protocol: 1) continuous skin temperature monitoring (at room temperature and cold air exposure); 2) self-report (cold sensitivity, pain and upper extremity disability). Many regions in North America have cold temperatures which can cause severe pain in those with abnormal cold sensitivity and can negatively affect a person's ability to work and to function in society. This research is focused on an important public health problem and evaluates a potential treatment for this problem. The results of this study will provide the data essential for future efficacy trials to evaluate Botulinum Toxin A compared to a control group and other treatments for cold sensitivity related to trauma and non-trauma etiologies.

Christine Novak, PT, PhD is an Associate Professor (Department of Surgery, University of Toronto), Scientist (Toronto Rehab) and Research Associate (Toronto Western Hospital), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her current research is focused on the assessment and management of cold sensitivity and investigation of targeted interventions to improve cold responses. The overall objective of this research is to decrease upper extremity disability in patients with trauma and non-trauma related cold sensitivity.