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Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Clinic

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Office Fax 602-933-4257

Brachial plexus is a network of nerves located at the base of the neck. These nerves signal to the brain to provide movement to the shoulders, arms and hands. Injury to the brachial plexus is either caused during the birthing process or through a traumatic event. This type of peripheral nerve injury is the most frequently encountered by a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Our clinic provides evaluation, management and treatment for newborns, infants and children with brachial plexus and other peripheral nerve injuries. Collaboration is key for our pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, and occupational and physical therapists as we offer the latest treatments and surgical interventions to our patients


Peripheral nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system which connect our brains and spinal cords to the entire human body. These nerves control the functions of sensation (how we feel), movement and motor coordination (how we move).

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the neck that extend to and from the spinal cord to control the functions of the arms. These nerves signal the brain to provide movement and sensation to the shoulders, arms and hands. Injury to the brachial plexus can be caused by a traumatic event such as during the obstetrical birthing process (one of the most frequently encountered peripheral nerve injuries by a pediatric neurosurgeon) or when the nerves get stretched, pulled, or cut through a traumatic event. Trauma-based brachial plexus and peripheral nerves benefit from our approach because they receive comprehensive medical, surgical and psychosocial options throughout their ongoing evaluation. Nerves can also be injured through chronic compression as is seen with carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome.

In a comprehensive clinic such as the one at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's, the multidisciplinary team provides the initial and ongoing evaluation, management and treatment for newborns, infants and children with brachial plexus and other peripheral nerve injuries. Collaboration is key for our pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, plastic surgeons and occupational and physical therapists as we offer the latest treatments and surgical interventions to our patients.

Since 2009, the Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s has evaluated and treated more than 350 children. Our clinic provides evaluation, management and treatment for newborns, infants and children with brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injury. Collaboration is key for our pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, shoulder and hand surgeons, and occupational and physical therapists as we offer the latest treatments and surgical interventions to our patients.

Reliable Outcomes

Fortunately, most peripheral nerve injuries will resolve on their own. Physical or occupational therapy and time can also greatly help the damaged nerves to likely heal themselves. However, if by two to three months from the time of injury there is insufficient recovery of function, then surgery may need to be considered.

The results for brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injuries at Barrow at Phoenix Children’s and the few other institutions offering this care show that between 40-80% of patients will see significant improvement and recover functional use of the arm or affected area. Following a secondary surgery, all of our patients will have some level of improvement. Complications are few, with a rate of less than 3%.


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