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Reconstructive Procedures

Peripheral Nerve Surgery (Brachial Plexus)


The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the arm and hand. These signals cause the arm and hand muscles to move and provide feeling for the hand and arm. Adult brachial plexus injuries are often a result of high impact trauma, tumors, compress or irradiation therapy. Most pediatric brachial plexus injuries happen during birth. To treat brachial plexus injuries, peripheral nerve surgery may be required.

The Procedure
At Albany Medical Center, our plastic surgeons consider peripheral nerve surgery to be a highly individualized procedure. Based on age, type and severity of the injury, peripheral nerve surgery can help to treat brachial plexus injuries.

By using microsurgical techniques, our plastic surgeons can repair the individual nerves of the brachial plexus to improve nerve regeneration and to restore some hand and arm functions. Surgical techniques may include nerve repair, release of the nerve from scar tissue, and placing nerve grafts across damaged nerves.

The Recovery
The healing process for peripheral nerve surgeries is lengthy, but patients should not get discouraged by this fact. It is important to routinely perform the exercises outlined by their doctor to keep the affected muscles and joints flexible. Patients need to understand that recovery may take up to a year or longer.  

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