Pediatric Brachial Plexus

Pediatric Neurosurgery

Pediatric Brachial Plexus

Contact Information

(608) 263-6420

The Pediatric Neurosurgery program at American Family Children's Hospital treats children with brachial plexus and other peripheral nerve injuries.
What is the brachial plexus?

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that begins in the neck and provides feeling and movement to the shoulder, arm, forearm and hand. Brachial plexus injuries are caused when these nerves are stretched during the birth of a child.
Brachial Plexus Injury Symptoms
Signs of damage in this area include a limp arm or an arm with no muscle control in the shoulder, arm or hand. Infants may also lack feeling in their hand and arm.
Diagram of the brachial plexus nerves in the arm and neck

The brachial plexus nerves stretch between the neck and shoulder.

Type of Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Avulsion: The nerve root separates from the spinal cord; requires surgery.
  • Neuroma-in-continuity with Good Conduction: Nerves damaged but a message still travels through; does not require surgery.
  • Neuroma-in-continuity without Conduction: Nerve damage prevents message transmission; requires surgery.

Types of Repair for Brachial Plexus Injury

  • External Neurolysis: Surgery that removes scar tissue around the nerve.
  • Nerve Grafting: The damaged part of the nerve is removed or bypassed and replaced with a nerve graft. 
  • Neurotization: A nerve from another place in the body such is used to repair the damaged nerve. 
Program Services
  • Neuromuscular retraining
  • Muscle performance exercises
  • Biofeedback
  • Self-care adaptations
  • Patient/family education