Center for Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus injuries can make it difficult to use your arms or hands. Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is one of a few programs in western Pennsylvania capable of treating nerve damage from these life-changing injuries.

AHN specialists perform innovative surgical procedures that can restore more normal functioning, so you can move forward with your life.

About brachial plexus injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves running from your neck to your armpit, controlling the feeling and movement in your arms and hands.

Brachial plexus nerve injuries can occur when the arm is pulled or stretched with great force or when the nerves are cut or torn. Minor brachial plexus injuries may occur during contact sports, where they’re often referred to as “stingers.” This feels like a burning sensation or an electric shock running down your arm. They usually also lead to numbness or weakness. These symptoms usually only last for a few minutes, but for some people the symptoms last for days or longer.

Brachial plexus injury treatment at AHN: Why choose us?

AHN’s Center for Brachial Plexus Injuries is home to some of the country’s leading upper extremity surgeons. We performed the region’s first nerve transfer procedure to repair severe nerve damage. A patient with no movement in her elbow and shoulder was able to return to her favorite pastime of painting after undergoing this procedure.

Highlights of our program include:

  • A highly skilled team. You receive care from doctors who completed additional training (fellowships) in hand surgery. Our expertise translates to exceptional care for any upper extremity problem — from your shoulders to your fingertips. Read more about our Hand and Upper Extremity Division.
  • Research. We are advancing care for brachial plexus injuries. These efforts include pioneering procedures to repair nerve damage, which helps you regain sensation and function. Find out more about our Orthopaedic Research Institute.

Hand surgery for brachial plexus injuries

Nerve damage in the brachial plexus affects the communication between the nerves and the brain. Our hand surgeons perform sophisticated procedures to reestablish the brain-nerve connection.

Your care may include:

  • Reattaching edges of a nerve that has been cut.
  • Replacing the damaged nerve with a healthy nerve from another part of the body, called a nerve transfer procedure.

d surgery is often the first step in your care journey. Additional treatments, such as occupational therapy, help you prevent joint stiffness and build strength as you recover. Our team includes certified hand therapists who deliver focused care to help you achieve exceptional results. Find out more about orthopaedic physical therapy.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN orthopaedic services.