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

Doctor Rating

4.6 out of 5

260 Ratings

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


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

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New Patient Appointments: 336-716-WAKE
Returning Patient Appointments: 336-716-8092
Department: 336-716-8200

Insurance Accepted »

Additional Languages

Chinese (Other)

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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, NC Baptist Hospital, 2005

Board Certifications

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


  • 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

260 Ratings

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

Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Surgery Vascular

Research Interests

Brachial Plexus; Nerve Transfer; Brachial Plexus Neuropathies; Hand Injuries; Radius Fractures
More »

Contact Information

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

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Recent Publications

Anatomical factors contributing to radial nerve excursion at the brachium: a Cadaveric Study. Chen WA, Luo TD, Wigton MD, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2018;43(3):288.e1-e7.

Peripheral nerve injury after elbow arthroscopy: an analysis of risk factors. Jinnah AH, Luo TD, Wiesler ER, Li Z, Poehling GG, Tuohy CJ, Graves BR, Freehill MT, Papadonikolakis A.. Arthroscopy. 2018;34(5):1447-1452.

Brachial plexus injuries. Luo TD, Li Z.. StatPearls. 2018;():.

Neuromuscular ultrasound of the brachial plexus: a standardized approach. Baute V, Strakowski JA, Reynolds JW, Karvelas KR, Ehlers P, Brenzy KJ, Li ZJ, Cartwright MS.. Muscle Nerve. 2018;():.

Dorsal distraction plating and lunate decortication for stage III Kienbock disease: a novel technique. Wigton MD, Nazir OF, Graves BR, Apel PJ, Li Z.. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2017;21(1):13-17.

Metaphyseal versus diaphyseal ulnar shortening osteotomy for treatment of ulnar impaction syndrome: a comparative study. Marquez-Lara A, Nunez FA Jr, Kiymaz T, Nunez FA Sr, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2017;42(6):.

Donor-site outcomes for the osteocutaneous radial forearm free flap. Satteson ES, Satteson AC, Waltonen JD, Li Z, Wiesler ER, Apel PJ, Graves BR.. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2017;33(8):544-548.

The risk of pain syndrome affecting a previously non-painful limb following trauma or surgery in patients with a history of complex regional pain syndrome. Satteson ES, Harbour PW, Koman LA, Smith BP, Li Z.. Scand J Pain. 2017;14():84-88.

Age-dependent Schwann cell phenotype regulation following peripheral nerve injury. Chen WA, Luo TD, Barnwell JC, Smith TL, Li Z.. J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2017;22(4):464-471.

Circumferential adipofascial graft for prevention of recurrence of posttraumatic radioulnar synostosis. Wigton M, Friend M, Li Z.. J Hand Surg [Am]. 2017;42(12):1039.e1-e6.

Relationship between glenoid deformity and gait characteristics in a rat model of neonatal brachial plexus injury. Hennen K, Crouch DL, Hutchinson ID, Li Z, Saul K.. J Orthop Res. 2017;():.

Effects of amniotic fluid derived stem cells (AFS) on regeneration of large-gap peripheral nerve injuries in a rat model [abstract]. Ma X, Marquez-Lara A, Elsner E, Smith TL, Li Z.. Tissue Eng Part A. 2017;23(Suppl 1):S36-S37.

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.

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

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

Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Surgery Vascular

Request An Appointment

Doctor Rating

4.6 out of 5

Zhongyu John Li, M.D., Ph.D.260 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.


Most of my family see Dr. Li...


2 Physicians came in the exam room with my daughter and me. The physicians looked at my daughters MRI and talked among themselves. The visiting physicians didn't introduce himself or acknowledge my daughter or myself. I have a medical back ground and felt very uninformed. It appears to be a wasted visit for us. Dr Li came highly recommend but I have not gained satisfaction in our visit so far. Physicians came across arrogant and not explaining what their thought process was about my daughters pain.


dr. Li is wonderful I used to dealwith pain on daily I don't have any pain since I have been seeing dr .Li


Dr li is a very smart man and he would break down what was going on and would explain things in a way that I could understand.


excellent in every regard.




Dr Li has been excellent in all aspects of care, I am very pleased


Dr Li spent a lott of time with me...a tricky issue with some nerves. He "gets it"!!


This care provider was recommended to me by the Orthopedic surgeons staff that did my last knee replacement, so I knew I could trust and be confident that I was in good hands to get help for the issue I am now having.


Duuuuuuuhhhh everything is wonderfull---what more can I say ? I love you all !!!


very good experience


Very good experience.


*Dr. Li is outstanding. Shows sincere concern for his patients. Very courteous and professional.


Dr Li is Awesome!!!!! He is wonderful with a great personality.The Best


He is wonderful! was great with my son!


I was treated as number #### by the Provider. It was more than apparent that he felt my being there was not necessary as the ganglion cyst was just irrelevant in his day! Agreed it was not a life threatening emergency or exciting but as a patient it was important to be treated like I was more than an imposition in his morning!


*Dr. Li is a wonderful surgeon & he made my 12 yr. old feel at ease & made him laugh.


I came in wanting to know what was going on in my hands that was causing pain. This was not addressed to my satisfaction. It seems that as soon as the Dr determined from the X-Ray that this was not a "knife or needle" condition (his words) he lost interest and left after a few minutes. I still don't know what is going on in my hands and wrists, and I'm reduced to trying to find out from Dr Google. Dr seemed to be "treating the X-Ray, not the patient".


Dr Li is very compassionate and listens to healthcare concerns. He is an excellent surgeon and did a wonderful job.


love Dr Li


Very empathic care provider


this is the third time I have visited Dr Li for the same problem. I am a diabetic so the problem will occur over and over. he doiesa wonderful job with the needle and he will be my Doctor any time I need this procedure.


Dr Li takes the time to explain everything and does a great job of making sure you understand everything he tells you.


Dr. Li, listened to my concerns and gave me the opportunity to make the decision on what type of medical care I needed. He did not try to convince me to have surgery and I respect him for that.


I absolutely love Dr Li. he is not only an excellent surgeon but he is an excellent person


I am appreciative and grateful for the time Dr. Li spent talking with me about this surgery and possible alternatives for other issues I'm experiencing.


Dr. Li is the best. I would highly recommend him.


I do recommend Dr. Li to other people.

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