Fleshgod Apocalypse singer Francesco Paoli is continuing a long recovery after suffering a major fall last year in a rock climbing accident that left the musician with multiple broken bones. In a new update, Paoli reveals that he recently needed additional surgery after his ulnar nerve did not heal as expected.
The initial incident took place on August 21, 2021 and it was reported that Paoli suffered “several fractures” and was in stable condition at a local hospital. The singer offered a longer update on his recovery process in which he detailed the most recent surgery which involved transplanting a nerve taken from his left leg into his elbow to help repair the ulnar nerve, which had an interruption of 8 cm.
The ulnar nerve passes close to the ulnar bone and is the largest in the human body unprotected by muscle or bone, so injuries are common. This nerve is directly connected to the little finger and the adjacent half of the ring finger, innervating the palmar surface of these fingers, including both the front and back of the tips, perhaps as far as the bed of the nails. So, as you can imagine, nerve having so much to do with the fingers, Paoli had a hard time picking up the guitar during his recovery.
Paoli detailed his recent surgery and how his recovery process has gone so far in a lengthy post shared via the band’s Instagram which can be read in full below:
Hi everyone, after a long time I can finally update you on my recovery status.
I know full well that these times bring bigger issues to worry about, but I also know that some of you care about my situation and I have promised to keep you updated. As I told you before, following my accident, I reported several bone and muscle injuries that I have been able to recover over the past few months. Also, I have severely injured my ulnar nerve which is one of those that serves the hand area and if dysfunctional it can cause semi/complete paralysis of the hand/fingers and a loss of muscle functionality. Usually, hand conditions improve within the first 6 months after the first surgery, as the nerves repair themselves when possible. Unfortunately, that was not my case. The suspected nerve interruption, which medical checks recently revealed, was real and, as I said, serious. The other day, March 10, I had another surgery to remove additional wires and re-inspection of my ulnar nerve. It turned out that I had an 8cm break, plus a huge neuroma, which is basically a bunch of scars, in my elbow area. Since this kind of problem has no way to be solved and it is extremely painful, there was no choice but to remove the dead section and proceed with the grafting of a another nerve, quickly taken from my left leg. They basically removed 30cm of my sural nerve, cut it into three parts, made a little braid out of it, and implanted it into my elbow to give continuity to the remaining pieces of ulnar nerve.
This self-sacrifice, of course, is not free, as I will have permanent damage to my foot/leg sensitivity, but it was inevitable. Luckily it won’t affect my foot/leg motility. On the other hand, it will take me to a whole new life, where my hand can actually improve its functionality, albeit slowly, and the pain (at least most of it) should finally go away. For example, playing the guitar was becoming a real nightmare lately. Now I’m fine, in good hands and with a fairly quick prognosis, 3/4 weeks straight back into rehab. I can’t wait to learn to walk again for the 4/5th time in my life, haha, and of course to come back stronger and perform for you all over the world! The next stop is Norway on May 7!
Anyway, sorry if I was too long, but I really wanted to involve you in more detail and show you how amazing science can be and how grateful 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 aren’t made of different flesh than the people who send human beings to shoot each other on the road every day.
It is still impossible nowadays to quantify how much of a worst enemy we can be to ourselves.
Of course, some humans can simply bring war and destroy while others, instead, are able to bring life and create. I will always be devoted to them, supporting them in every way possible and trusting in Science as my one and only religion.
In conclusion I just wanted to reassure you and invite you to be strong, to enjoy life no matter what and to spread peace.
I love you all.
All this with one hand.
Paoli, who was the band’s original lead singer, reclaimed the band’s lead vocal spot in 2017 after Tommaso Riccardi’s exit. He remained in the band during Riccardi’s run, still playing drums and guitar and lending backing vocals. He returned to rhythm guitar duties in 2017.
While the band’s last studio album was Valeno in 2019, they kept busy during the pandemic releasing two EPs in 2020 (The day we’re gone and No), and Blue (turns to red) Last year.
We wish Francesco Paoli the best of luck in his continued recovery.
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