About Brachial Plexus Injuries

Infant handDuring your child's birth, the nerves in the neck and shoulder area were stretched, creating an injury called a palsy. These nerves make up the system that carries messages between the brain and the rest of our body – this specific group of nerves is called the brachial plexus.

Nerves in the brachial plexus carry messages from the arm for feeling and to the muscles for movement. The nerves start at the spinal cord in the neck and provide movement and sensation of the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Location of brachial plexus
Figure 1: Location of brachial plexus

Your child's ability to move their arm will gradually get better as the nerves heal and begin to send messages to the muscles again. Some children recover quickly, while others need more time for the palsy to get better. This progress depends on the location and degree of injury to the nerves, and may take a year or more.



BC Children's Hospital Brachial Plexus Clinic

The Brachial Plexus Clinic at BC Children's Hospital is directed by Dr. Terence Kwan-Wong, pediatric plastic surgeon. The clinic is supported by a multidisciplinary team including orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and research coordinator.

For inquiries about research or to make a referral please contact us.