Dr. Mark Tait, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at UAMS, answers the question. He provides nonsurgical and surgical treatments to patients with conditions of and injuries to the hand, wrist, elbow and nerves.
UAMS is one of the few places in the U.S. offering state-of-the-art treatment for brachial plexus conditions and injuries. Using the latest technology and procedures, our fellowship-trained surgeons provide caring and compassionate treatment for the most complex cases.
The brachial plexus is a cluster of nerves running from the spine down the arm and hand. These nerves control the motion and feeling in your arms, wrists and hands. These nerves are important in everyday tasks in life.
Injuries to the brachial plexus can occur at birth and as a result of trauma. Traumatic injuries are often the result of motorcycle and automobile accidents. Brachial plexus injuries can be minor or severe. Stingers and burners are minor injuries to the brachial plexus that often occur in contact sports. These minor injuries typically resolve without surgery. Severe injuries can lead to permanent deficit of function and sensation.
Permanent deficits after brachial plexus injuries can be treated with many procedures to return function and sensation to the arm. Options include nerve grafting, nerve transfers, and tendon or muscle transfers.
Providing surgical and nonsurgical treatments, our orthopedic experts are supported by other specialists at UAMS, working in collaboration to provide comprehensive care with the best outcomes. New advances in nerve surgery allow for better and less painful function of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.
Severe injuries need to be treated early to avoid permanent disability and increase surgical success. If an injury is not severe, complete healing can often be achieved without surgery.
If you are have sustained a traumatic injury to the arm and are having the following symptoms you need to be evaluated as soon as possible:
- Numbness in the hand or arm
- Issues moving or controlling the arm, wrist, or hand
- Significant weakness
- Brachial plexus birth palsy
- Traumatic brachial plexus injuries
- Tetraplegia (loss of hand and arm function after cervical spinal cord injury)
- Axillary nerve injury
- Peroneal nerve palsy and injury
- Peripheral nerve injuries
- Targeted muscle reinnervation for arm amputations
For more information, please contact UAMS orthopedics.