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Elly 10-31-2011 09:38 AM

anyone with severe brachial plexus injury?
Not sure if I am making the right choices for my daughter that has paralysis of her left arm due to a traumatic brachial plexus injury while learning to ski. Nerve graft surgeries have been unsuccessful and muscle tendon transfers in her situation are much more risky and have low success rates. She is having much more pain now due to the weight of her flaccid arm. She really does not want an amputation and prosthesis. Wondering mostly if just waiting is the right thing to do? I guess we are waiting to see if science comes along with better options - more exoskeletons, implanted electrodes, etc. Dr. Tomaino, you were wonderful meeting with us, about a year ago. I guess I am looking for suggestions to improve her pain and quality of life? Any suggestions?

mtomaino 10-31-2011 04:02 PM

Hi there!!

I remember meeting your daughter and husband clearly. I think that you are wise in respecting your daughter's wisheshere, and agree that new scientific innovation may impact on your daughter's tragic disability in the future.

That having been said, it is unlikely that muscle reinnervation or "bionic" implants will restore function in her arm and hand. What is more likely is prosthetic innovation-- these are increasingly light weight, cosmetically appealing, and functional.

I do have 1 suggestion-- Visit the website "Empowering Amputees" at this link:

It may be possible for you all to talk with other patients who have struggled with similar decisions. I hope this helps.

Know this---I am available at any time to further assist you. Feel free to email me at this link:

Happy Holidays ahead!!


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