Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.Wake Forest Baptist Health

Doctor Rating

4.6 out of 5

295 Ratings

Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Surgery Vascular

Clinical Interests

Peripheral Nerve Repair, Arthroscopy of the shoulder/elbow/wrist, Upper Extremity Injury and Pathology, Birth Palsy, Brachial Plexus, Axillary Nerve Injury, Scapular Winging, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Arthroscopic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Hand Surgery,

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Education & Training

  • M.D., Zhejiang University Hangzhou-China, 1987
  • M.S., Shanghai Medical Univ Affiliate Hospitals-China, 1992
  • Ph.D., Wake Forest University, 1997
  • Fellowship, Hand Surgery, Hua Shan Hospital Shanghai-Chi, 1994
  • Internship, Surgery, Suny-Stony Brk Affil Hosps, 1999
  • Residency, Orthopaedic Surgery, Suny-Stony Brk Affil Hosps, 2004
  • Fellowship, Hand Surgery, North Carolina Baptist Hospita, 2005

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hand Surgery
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery


  • Am Academy Of Orthopaedic Surg
  • North Carolina Medical Society
  • Amer Assoc of Peripheral Nerve
  • Southeastern Hand Club
  • Southern Orthopedic Assn
  • Sunderland Society
  • Western Nc Chpt Soc For Neuros
  • Am Board Of Orthopedic Surgery
  • Am Orthopaedic Assn
  • Am Soc Of Surgery Of The Hand

NPI Number

  • 1922082304
Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Doctor Rating

4.6 out of 5

295 Ratings

Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor, Surgery Vascular

Research Interests

Brachial Plexus Neuropathies; Radius Fractures; Hand; Brachial Plexus; Shoulder Joint
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Contact Information

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Academic: 336-716-9351 | Department: 336-716-8200

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Recent Publications

Surgical algorithm and results of isolated traumatic axillary nerve injuries. Chen WA, Schippert DW, Daws SB, Koman LA, Li Z.. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2016;32(3):208-214.

Double distal intraneural fascicular nerve transfers for lower brachial plexus injuries. Li Z, Reynolds M, Satteson E, Nazir O, Petit J, Smith BP.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2016;41(4):e15-e19.

Relationship between maximum isometric joint moment and functional task performance in patients with brachial plexus injury: a pilot study. Crouch DL, Santago AC II, Plate JF, Li Z, Saul KR.. Gait Posture. 2016;44():238-244.

Effects of age and insulin-like growth factor-1 on rat neurotrophin receptor expression after nerve injury. Luo TD, Alton TB, Apel PJ, Cai J, Barnwell JC, Sonntag WE, Smith TL, Li Z.. Muscle Nerve. 2016;54(4):769-775.

Arthroscopic release of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder complicated with shoulder dislocation and brachial plexus injury. Nunez FA, Papadonikolakis A, Li Z.. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2016;25(2):114-116.

Percutaneous distraction pinning for metacarpophalangeal joint stabilization after blast or crush injuries of the hand. Langford MA, Cheung K, Li Z.. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2015;473(9):2785-2789.

Anteriorly positioned ulnar nerve at the elbow: a rare anatomical event: case report. Satteson ES, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2015;40(5):984-986.

Five-year mortality for patients with end-stage renal disease who undergo upper extremity amputation. Stone AV, Xu NM, Patterson RW, Koman LA, Smith BP, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2015;40(4):666-672.

Effect of setting of initial surgical drainage on outcome of finger infections. Chen WA, Plate JF, Li Z.. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2015;24(1):36-41.

Contributions of muscle imbalance and impaired growth to postural and osseous shoulder deformity following brachial plexus birth palsy: a computational simulation analysis. Cheng W, Cornwall R, Crouch DL, Li Z, Saul KR.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2015;40(6):1170-1176.

Randomized comparison of volar locking plates and intramedullary nails for unstable distal radius fractures. Plate JF, Gaffney DL, Emory CL, Mannava S, Smith BP, Koman LA, Wiesler ER, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2015;40(6):1095-1101.

The management of complications of small joint arthrodesis and arthroplasty. Satteson ES, Langford MA, Li Z.. Hand Clin. 2015;31(2):243-266.

Needle curette technique for hand surgery. Chen WA, Gluck GS, Li Z.. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2015;19(3):108-109.

Biomechanical basis of shoulder osseous deformity and contracture in a rat model of brachial plexus birth palsy. Crouch DL, Hutchinson ID, Plate JF, Antoniono J, Gong H, Cao G, Li Z, Saul KR.. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015;97(15):1264-1271.

A randomized trial of diagnostic ultrasound to improve outcomes in focal neuropathies. Cartwright MS, Griffin LP, Dowlen H, Bargoil JM, Caress JB, Li ZJ, Defranzo AJ Jr, Wiesler ER, Tuohy CJ, Balakrishnan N, Molnar JA, Baute V, Koman LA, Poehling GG, Walker FO.. Muscle Nerve. 2015;52(5):746-753.

A human hair keratin hydrogel scaffold enhances median nerve regeneration in nonhuman primates: an electrophysiological and histological study. Pace LA, Plate JF, Mannava S, Barnwell JC, Koman LA, Li Z, Smith TL, Van Dyke M.. Tissue Eng Part A. 2014;20(3-4):507-517.

Computational sensitivity analysis to identify muscles that can mechanically contribute to shoulder deformity following brachial plexus birth palsy. Crouch DL, Plate JF, Li Z, Saul KR.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2014;39(2):303-311.

Dissatisfaction after trapezial-metacarpal arthroplasty. Braun BM, Li Z, Wiesler ER.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2014;39(5):973-975.

Anatomic findings and outcomes associated with upper extremity arteriography and selective thrombolysis for acute finger ischemia. Islam A, Edgerton C, Stafford JM, Koman A, Li Z, Smith BP, Edwards MS, Corriere MA.. J Vasc Surg. 2014;60(2):410-417.

Comparison of transposition techniques to reduce gap associated with high ulnar nerve lesions. Choudhry IK, Bracey DN, Hutchinson ID, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2014;39(12):2460-2463.

Combined proximal nerve graft and distal nerve transfer for a posterior cord brachial plexus injury. Plate JF, Ely LK, Pulley BR, Smith BP, Li Z.. J Neurosurg. 2013;118(1):155-159.

Biomechanical contributions of posterior deltoid and teres minor in the context of axillary nerve injury: a computational study. Crouch DL, Plate JF, Li Z, Saul KR.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2013;38(2):241-249.

Anatomic findings and outcomes associated with arteriography and thrombolysis for acute finger ischemia [abstract]. Islam A, Edgerton C, Andrews JS, Edwards MS, Koman A, Li ZY, Corriere MA.. J Vasc Surg. 2013;57(5 Suppl):100S.

Reflections 1 year into the 21-Center National Institutes of Health--funded WRIST study: a primer on conducting a multicenter clinical trial. Chung KC, Kim HM, Haase SC, Lawton J, Ozer K, Waljee JF, Nellans K, Malay S, Shauver MJ, Rozental TD, Appleton P, Rodriguez E, Herder L, Wagner K, Blazar P, Earn B, Li ZY, Koman A, Smith B, Bullard D, et al.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2013;38(6):1194-1201.

Fibrin glue augmentation for flexor tendon repair increases friction compared with epitendinous suture. Xu NM, Brown PJ, Plate JF, Nazir OF, Gluck GS, Stitzel JD, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2013;38(12):2329-2334.

Metaphyseal ulnar shortening osteotomy for the treatment of ulnocarpal abutment syndrome using distal ulna hook plate: case series. Nunez FA Jr, Barnwell J, Li Z, Nunez FA Sr.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2012;37(8):1574-1579.

Orthopaedic management in the polytrauma patient. Halvorson JJ, Pilson HT-P, Carroll EA, Li ZJ.. Front Med. 2012;6(3):234-242.

Sheet fitting palsy. Walker FO, Lyles MF, Li Z.. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2012;14(1):48-50.

Soft-tissue coverage of complex dorsal hand and finger defects using the turnover adipofascial flap. Deal DN, Barnwell J, Li Z.. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2011;27(2):133-138.

An ulnar intraneural ganglion arising from the pisotriquetral joint: case report. Chen WA, Barnwell JC, Li Y, Smith BP, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2011;36(1):65-67.

An elevated hemidiaghram [sic] after infraclavicular block due to eventration of the diaphragm [abstract]. Chi JC, Gerancher JC, Harle TS, Li Z.. In: Spring 2011 Abstract Archive of the 36th Annual Regional Anesthesia Meeting & Workshops of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine; 2011 May 5-8; Las Vegas (NV). 2011;():abstr 60.

Vascular disorders. Koman LA, Smith BP, Smith TL, Ruch DS, Li Z. In: Wolfe SW, Hotchkiss RN, Pederson WC, Kozin SH, eds. Green's operative hand surgery, vol 2. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone;2011: 2197-2240.

Novel wire external fixation technique for proximal phalanx pilon fractures: technique and 2 case reports. Cardoso R, Li Z.. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2011;15(3):162-165.

Complex regional pain syndrome of the upper extremity. Patterson RW, Li Z, Smith BP, Smith TL, Koman LA.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2011;36(9):1553-1562.

Computer simulation of nerve transfer strategies for restoring shoulder function after adult C5 and C6 root avulsion injuries. Crouch DL, Li Z, Barnwell JC, Plate JF, Daly M, Saul KR.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2011;36(10):1644-1651.

Arthroscopic treatment of an osteochondral lesion in a child with chronic wrist pain: case report. Chen WA, Koman LA, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2011;36(11):1822-1825.

Complex regional pain syndrome: types I and II. Koman LA, Li Z, Smith BP, Smith TL. In: Skirven TM, Osterman AL, Fedorczyk J, Amadio PC, eds. Rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby;2011: 1470-1478.

Orthopaedic . radiology . pathology conference: painful palmar mass in a 36-year-old woman. Harreld KL, Li H, Li Z.. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2010;468(3):917-920.

Effect of locally delivered IGF-1 on nerve regeneration during aging: an experimental study in rats. Apel PJ, Ma J, Callahan M, Northam CN, Alton TB, Sonntag WE, Li Z.. Muscle Nerve. 2010;41(3):335-341.

Management of upper extremity pain and vascular disorders. Li Z, Chloros GD, Smith BP, Smith TL, Koman LA. In: Trumble TE, Rayan GM, Budoff JE, Baratz ME, eds. Principles of hand surgery and therapy. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier;2010: 270-285.

Complex regional pain syndrome after hand surgery. Li Z, Smith BP, Tuohy C, Smith TL, Koman LA.. Hand Clin. 2010;26(2):281-289.

Distraction external fixation for comminuted fractures of the base of the proximal phalanx [letter]. Li ZY, Cardoso R.. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2010;35(6):508-509.

Intramedullary fixation of distal radius fractures. Harreld K, Li Z.. Hand Clin. 2010;26(3):363-372.

Microcomputed tomography characterization of shoulder osseous deformity after brachial plexus birth palsy: a rat model study. Li Z, Barnwell J, Tan J, Koman LA, Smith BP.. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010;92(15):2583-2588.

Periarterial sympathectomy of the foot for the treatment of necrotizing Raynaud's phenomena. Li Z, Smith BP, Holden M, Koman LA.. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2009;25(2):133-137.

How age impairs the response of the neuromuscular junction to nerve transection and repair: an experimental study in rats. Apel PJ, Alton T, Northam C, Ma J, Callahan M, Sonntag WE, Li Z.. J Orthop Res. 2009;27(3):385-393.

Anomalous vasculature as direct cause of upper brachial plexus thoracic outlet syndrome. Chloros GD, Crosby N, Apel P, Li Z.. Joint Bone Spine. 2009;76(1):92-94.

Complex regional pain syndrome after distal radius fractures. Chloros GD, Wiesler ER, Papadonikolakis A, Li Z, Smith BP, Koman LA. In: Slutsky DJ, Osterman AL, eds. Fractures and injuries of the distal radius and carpus: the cutting edge. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier;2009: 247-257.

Lunate-lunate facet ratio and variance to predict articular gap after distal radius fracture. Harreld KL, Apel P, Koman LA, Li ZY.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2009;34(9):1625-1632.

Surgical treatment of pediatric trigger thumb with metacarpophalangeal hyperextension laxity. Li Z, Wiesler ER, Smith BP, Koman LA.. Hand (N Y). 2009;4(4):380-384.

All Publications

For a listing of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.

For a list of earlier publications, visit the Carpenter Library Publication Search.

Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery

Clinical Interests

Peripheral Nerve Repair, Arthroscopy of the shoulder/elbow/wrist, Upper Extremity Injury and Pathology, Birth Palsy, Brachial Plexus, Axillary Nerve Injury, Scapular Winging, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Arthroscopic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Hand Surgery, Microvascular and Replantation Surgery
Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Surgery Vascular

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Doctor Rating

4.6 out of 5

Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.295 Ratings


Doctor Ratings

The overall Patient Rating score is the average of responses to the nine questions listed below. The questions are from the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Responses are measured on a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 represents "very poor" and 5 represents "very good."
Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey

CP concern for questions/worries
CP efforts to include in decisions
CP explanations of prob/condition
CP spoke using clear language
Friendliness/courtesy of CP
Likelihood of recommending CP
Patients' confidence in CP
Time CP spent with patient
Wait time at clinic

Patient Comments

Comments are taken from the Care Provider section of the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Comments are posted exactly as they are written. Comments are added weekly. To protect patient privacy and confidentiality, patient names are not included.


Already recommended this provider to other athletes & parents.


excellent care


Very gentle, pleasant, and concerned!


Dr. Li was excellent. He went above and beyond to diagnose, treat and take care of a rare medical condition. Drs. Koman and Li are an asset to toWake Medical.


Overall a good experience.


*Dr. Li is the first time anyone hasn't told me to cut off my finger. *Dr. Li also talked to me like a person not just a patient. I did spend more time w/his fellow than him but he did spend a good amount of time with me.


Dr. Li & the entire Baptist Staff are the best I've encountered... and I've had more than my fair share to provide comparison. :)


My appointment with Dr. Li was above any expectations I had. I left his office feeling like I had all the answers I had been waiting on. He was so personal and took the time to listen to me. Dr. Li will come highly recommended! He is an answer to prayer.


The doctor told me what would happen and explained it thoroughly.


Outstanding doctor!


*Dr. Li did an unbelievable job in sewing my hand back together after the table saw almost destroyed it. He is very skilled & friendly & caring.


I,m Am very Impressed Withe Dr Li And His Nurse They Also Took Care Of My Husband When He Was Injured He Knows What he Is Doing After Three Drs. Who Could,t Find Anything Wrong Dr Li Took One Look And showed Me The Problems.


Dr.Li is a very knowledgeable and caring physician. I have and will continue to recommend him to others.


Dr. Li is an absolutely excellent doctor (please see more details in another Comment section about Dr. Li).


Dr. Li is an awesome doctor!


Very informative and caring


No problem with provider he listens to all of my questions and concerns.


Very good care. All ways.


He is the Best!




Did not give me enough time ti explain further medical problems.


I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Li, and have recommended him in the past, and will continue to do so. He is a very professional, and friendly person whom I have come to trust completely regarding the care that he has and will provide for myself, as well as anyone in my family.


*Dr. Li is a very professional, expert surgeon/with a caring concern for his patient - I would recommend him very highly and so glad I found him for my fractured waist surgery.


I think Dr Lu and his staff are wonderful.


A doctor has to talk - he was in the room maybe 2 minutes.


Dr. Li is wonderful


Some visits have been great and others not so good. I think Dr. Li is a great surgeon but lack in patient relations. I will probably seek a new Doctor for my current hand problem.


My experience with *Dr. Li has been very informative & most enjoyable, caring professional.


Dr. Li is amazing as well and I am so very thankful that we found him!


Dr. Li specializes in the treatment of hand injuries and conditions. I would recommend him to friends.


*Dr. Li is great. Very caring & compassionate.




Not only is Dr. Li brilliant he has a terrific sense of humor & warmth.


Dr. Li and his team provided great care.


any explanation shortcomings would have been due to my not knowing what question to ask.


dr. Lee knew exactly what was wrong and took i immediate action and actually saved my limb and for that I am eternally grateful


Love Dr. Li! so greatful for him....


They are all very friendly.


Dr. Li and his staff are always the best of the best!


I recommend *Dr. LI all the time. I am very pleased with him in all aspects. Love *Dr. LI.


Excellent care from both the resident and the doctor.


very good


I have seen Dr. Li multiple times in the past (several years ago) and always found him to be very focused and thorough in every aspect of my office visits. During this most recent visit though he seemed very distracted by someone (a resident or fellow I believe) who popped in and out of the exam room and carried on his own unrelated conversation with Dr. Li during my appointment.




*Dr. Li is the best doctor I have ever seen. I'm glad he is my doctor.


*Dr. Li is just pure awesome!


*Dr. Li has treated 3 other co-workers per my recommendation -


The Dr showed compassion to me and my husband. He was straight forward with his questions and answers. He gave us hope and that says a lot. I am looking for forward to my next visit Friday 2/20.


Very helpful.


love everyone at Comp-Re-hab- everyone very nice and caring !


Dr. Li is the best surgeon I have ever had. Without him I would be stuck in limbo with my medical condition.


*Dr. Li is wonderful!


Great experience! Great staff!


I described several symptoms, the doctor knew the rest and immediately took proper action to solve the problem. He was excellent.


Did not ask me why I wanted to have surgery. Did not consider the length time I been having problems.


no complaints!


Very professional. Pleasant personality.


*Dr. Li is outstanding. My injury was extensive. His skill may save the use of my rt. hand.


Dr. Li was very thorough in addressing the situation about my broken finger. The Baptist hospital is very fortunate to have him on its staff.


five minutes spent with me.Didnothing totry to help me.


this provider comes highly recommended but I would have liked more time for follow up questions.


Bad bedside manners. Need to work on them.


Dr. Li is great. Very knowledgeable and listens to your concerns.


*Dr. Li rushed through. Was very rude, he seemed agitated, did not go over Rx. with me he did not want to answer questions.


I have already told many people both in North Carolina and Texas about the great care I had .


No hesitations in recommending Wake Forest Medical (Dr. Li's Gang)


Dr. Li is excellent! He is very professional yet also very friendly.


Hand needed attention. Thankful for the attention.


Dr. LI seems very knowledgeable ,caring and professional and puts you at ease about needing surgery. I like him a lot!


Will only go to Dr. Li for my hands. I have sent 4 friends to him in the past 2 years. We all love him.


Good experience with provider.


Dr. Li is a very knowledgable a helpful provider.


no bad experiences at all

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