The Brachial Plexus Center’s clinics take place on Tuesday afternoon or Friday morning. At the initial visit, your child will be assessed by the team’s physicians and therapist. The evaluation may include:

  • Active range of motion in both arms through reaching and facilitated movement
  • Strength testing 
  • Sensory testing (how much does your child feel through the arm)
  • Diaphragm involvement (does your child breathe equally on both sides)
  • Standardized scoring classifications for brachial plexus injuries (Toronto Score, Mallet Classification, Narakas Classification, Active Movement Scale) 
  • Review of patient goals
  • Family input

Additional testing may include:

  • X-rays
  • EMG 
  • MRI
  • CT scan 
  • Ultrasound

It may be necessary for your child to have X-rays before meeting with our team.  X-rays are taken in the Radiology Department adjacent to our clinic area. Once testing is complete, a nurse will accompany you and your child to a treatment room to gather medical history and other necessary information.  Our social worker will be available during your visit for support and advice.

The team will meet with your entire family in the treatment room to develop the best treatment plan to meet your child’s needs.

What to Bring to Your Visit

  • Reports from previous doctor visits, including pediatricians, orthopaedic specialists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and  therapists
  • Test results from past EMGs, MRIs and  X-rays
  • A written list of questions for team members
  • A written list of functional goals that you and your child would like to work toward

For Your Child’s Comfort

  • Please dress your child in a manner that allows access to the entire affected arm as well as the shoulder and upper back. 
  • Feel free to bring a snack for your child as clinics may run into the lunch or dinner hour. 
  • While there are video games in the waiting area, you may prefer to bring one or two of your younger child’s favorite toys to clinic. This often helps make the wait seem shorter and may assist with motivation during the evaluation.

Individualized Care Plan

Based on the assessment, an individualized treatment plan and therapy program will be developed for your child. The goal is to optimize function.

Therapy referrals may include aquatics, orthoses (splints), constraint-induced movement therapy and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Therapeutic taping may be used to facilitate positioning.
If you live in the Cincinnati area, therapy is available at Cincinnati Children’s Burnet Campus or at one of our 10 conveniently located outpatient centers. Aquatic therapy is offered at our Children’s facility at the Drake Center.

If you live outside Greater Cincinnati, the Brachial Plexus Center team will be happy to consult with therapy providers in your area.

Your Partner in Care

Consistent communication is maintained with your referring physician regarding the health and progress of your child. The Brachial Plexus Center’s team helps facilitate coordinated care for each child by writing referrals for specific therapies or treatment and communicating with the local caregivers providing the recommended services.