Traumatic brachial plexus injury: Diagnosis and treatment

Kitty Y. Wu, Robert J. Spinner, Alexander Y. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of the Review:Traumatic brachial plexus injuries (BPI) are devastating life-altering events, with pervasive detrimental effects on a patient's physical, psychosocial, mental, and financial well-being. This review provides an understanding of the clinical evaluation, surgical indications, and available reconstructive options to allow for the best possible functional outcomes for patients with BPI.Recent Findings:The successful management of patients with BPI requires a multidisciplinary team approach including peripheral nerve surgeons, neurology, hand therapy, physical therapy, pain management, social work, and mental health. The initial diagnosis includes a detailed history, comprehensive physical examination, and critical review of imaging and electrodiagnostic studies. Surgical reconstruction depends on the timing of presentation and specific injury pattern. A full spectrum of techniques including neurolysis, nerve grafting, nerve transfers, free functional muscle transfers, tendon transfers, and joint arthrodesis are utilized.Summary:Despite the devastating nature of BPI injuries, comprehensive care within a multidisciplinary team, open and practical discussions with patients about realistic expectations, and thoughtful reconstructive planning can provide patients with meaningful recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-717
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • brachial plexus
  • free functioning muscle transfer
  • nerve graft
  • nerve transfer
  • neurolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Traumatic brachial plexus injury: Diagnosis and treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this