Brachial Plexus Program

The Orthopedic Center's Brachial Plexus Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is a national and international referral center for children with brachial plexus birth injury. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the cervical spinal cord to the muscles of the upper limb. Brachial plexus injury refers to an injury to these nerves sustained during childbirth.

Our approach to brachial plexus birth injury

Boston Children’s Brachial Plexus Program is one of the world’s major centers for brachial plexus injury treatment. The program stands virtually alone in providing the entire spectrum of brachial plexus birth palsy care — from early nerve surgery, to early therapy, to later reconstructive orthopedic surgery and therapy if needed.

Our team of experts specialize in brachial plexus injury, providing the entire spectrum of care, so we can follow your child closely throughout treatment and recovery. Using a research and innovation driven approach, our surgeons, nurses and therapists have cared for thousands of patients with brachial plexus injury. 

Meet Chloe

She's a rodeo rider with brachial plexus birth injury, who competed in the barrel racing world championships.

READ HER STORY

Girl with brachial plexus injury, barrel racing on a horse

Our specialties

Clinical Effectiveness Research Center

The Clinical Effectiveness Research Center (CERC) helps coordinate research and clinical trials to improve the quality of life for children with musculoskeletal disorders. This collaborative clinical research program is unique in the nation and plays an instrumental role in establishing — for the first time — evidence-based standards of care for pediatric orthopedic patients throughout the world.

The Brachial Plexus Program and the Clinical Effectiveness Research Center work together to coordinate and fund the imperative research and innovation that is progressing the treatment of brachial plexus birth injury.

Research highlight: A new approach to transferring radial nerve triceps fascicles to the axillary nerve

Orthopedic surgeon Andrea Bauer, MD, published a paper in The Journal of Hand Surgery detailing the success of the anterior approach to nerve transfer. She and her team successfully operated on a 5-month-old girl with bilateral brachial plexus birth injury, who concurrently received two other types of nerve transfers.

Complex case: A surgical approach to acute flaccid myelitis

Orthopedic surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital successfully performed a partial radial to axillary nerve transfer on a 5-year-old who contracted a rare but increasingly common polio-like illness that affects the nervous system in the spinal cord.