A systematic review of outcomes reporting for brachial plexus reconstruction

Christopher J. Dy, Rohit Garg, Steve K. Lee, Phillip Tow, Carol A. Mancuso, Scott W. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose To better understand the manner in which outcomes are reported after brachial plexus reconstruction, we conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature. Methods We included English-language articles describing treatment of brachial plexus injuries to restore motor function of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, and/or wrist with nerve repair, nerve graft, and/or nerve transfer. We recorded the anatomical location of injury, the treatment used, and the manner in which motor function, active and passive range of motion, pain, quality of life, function or disability, patient satisfaction, and psychosocial health was reported. Results In reviewing 88 papers with outcomes for 5,189 patients, 83 (94%) of the papers reported postoperative motor function. Of these, 49 (59%) did not include any other measures of patient outcome. Active range of motion was reported in 24 (27%) studies, pain was reported in 15 (17%) studies, quality of life was reported in 4 (5%) studies, function or disability was reported in 5 (6%) studies, patient satisfaction in 3 (3%) studies, and psychosocial health in 1 study. Conclusions To date, outcome reporting for brachial plexus surgery has largely centered on motor recovery and typically has not included measures of function or nonmusculoskeletal recovery. Incorporating currently used measures of physical recovery with patient-derived outcomes measures such as quality of life, function, pain, and satisfaction will likely help provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effect of brachial plexus reconstruction surgery. Type of study/level of evidence Diagnostic III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Brachial plexus
  • nerve repair
  • nerve transfer
  • outcomes reporting


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of outcomes reporting for brachial plexus reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this