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Hand, Shoulder and Elbow Care

Brachial Plexus & Peripheral Nerve Injury

A complex network of nerves controls the movement and sensory system of our hands and arms. When these nerves are damaged, the result can be pain, numbness and loss of function in the affected limb. The Wake Forest Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Center is one of only a few centers in the country that has the expertise in management of complex nerve injuries affecting the hand, shoulder and elbow. 

Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury: Why Choose Wake Forest?

Severe injuries that cause nerve damage in your arms and hands require expert care. At Wake Forest Baptist Health, our team includes some of the nation's top experts. Our goal is to restore as much function and movement in your limb as possible, and to reduce pain. We offer: 

  • Wake Forest Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Center: Our doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating these injuries. They are among the most experienced doctors in the country with these nerve injuries. Learn more about the Wake Forest Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Center.
  • Team Approach: Our team is comprised of reconstructive hand surgeons, neurologists, neurophysiologists, neuroradiologists and physical and occupational therapists. This integrated approach offers our patients a complete array of treatment options. Meet our hand, shoulder and elbow specialists.
  • Personalized Care: Our goal is to customize a treatment that gets you back to your desired activity level as fast as possible. 

Treatments for Peripheral Nerve and Brachial Plexus Injury at Wake Forest

Wake Forest surgeons tailor the treatment approach for each patient based on the age, the type, and the severity of the nerve injury. Your doctor may recommend exercise and physical therapy to improve range of motion, muscle strength and to prevent joint stiffness and deformity. Surgery may be necessary if a patient has not recovered within several months.

The purpose of surgery is to improve the arm function. Nerve surgery, if required, is most effective when it is done early and should ideally occur within six months and typically not later than one year after your injury.

By using microsurgical techniques, surgeons can repair the individual nerves of the brachial plexus to improve nerve regeneration and to restore some hand and arm functions. Treatments include:

  • Neurolysis: A minimally invasive procedure to release an entangled nerve from scar tissue.
  • Nerve Graft: A procedure where portions of healthy nerve taken from another part of the patient's body are used to connect damaged or severed nerves with the hope to restore function.
  • Nerve Transfer (Neurotization): A surgery to suture an adjacent, functioning nerve into an irreparably injured nerve in an attempt to restore function in a paralyzed muscle.
  • Tendon Transfer: A procedure  to restore function to muscle by moving the anchor point of the muscle's tendon to another part of the bone. 

Hand, Shoulder and Elbow Nerve Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons specialize in nerve repair, graft, transfer and tendon transfers to restore as much function as possible to injured limbs. Our team also is experienced in treating the following nerve conditions:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Nerve entrapment syndromes 
  • Nerve injuries due to trauma or birth palsy
  • Nerve tumors
  • Scapular winging  

Request an appointment online. 


Quick Reference

Orthopaedic Services

New Patients 336-716-WAKE
Toll-Free 888-716-WAKE
Returning Patients
Returning Pediatric Patients

Contact the Department

Main 336-716-8200
Fax 336-716-8018

For assistance after hours, please call 336-716-2011 and ask for the Orthopaedic Surgeon on call.
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Last Updated: 05-25-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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