MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Medicine Children’s Neuroscience Center (CNC) is opening a Pediatric Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Clinic in October.
The new clinic, led by P. David Adelson, M.D., executive director of the CNC, and Stephanie Ferimer, M.D., Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, will offer the latest treatment options, therapies, and surgical interventions, including nerve grafting, for patients who have sustained these types of injuries.
Breanna Adkins, O.T.R./L., assistant professor of occupational therapy at the WVU School of Medicine, also joins the team as one of the only occupational therapists in West Virginia to be board certified in pediatric occupational therapy.
Peripheral nerves communicate the motor and sensory information from the central nervous system, the brain, and spinal cord. The brachial plexus is a peripheral nerve bundle that signals the brain to provide movement and sensation to the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Injuries to the brachial plexus or any of the other peripheral nerves can be caused by trauma, such as during the birthing process, which is one of the most frequently encountered peripheral nerve injuries by a pediatric neurosurgeon, or when the nerves get stretched, pulled, or separated through any other traumatic event, the most common being ATV and motorcycle accidents but also include blunt trauma from falls, automobile accidents, and athletic injuries, especially from contact sports.
Trauma-based brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injury patients treated at the Clinic will receive comprehensive medical, surgical, therapeutic, and psychosocial options throughout their ongoing evaluation; however, nerve injuries must be evaluated quickly.
“It’s important that if you or your primary care physician identify a nerve injury, you need to see a peripheral nerve specialist as soon as possible. In these cases, time equals nerve. The faster the injury can be diagnosed and treated, the better chance it has to recover more fully. We will do everything in our power to see patients as quickly as possible,” Dr. Adelson said.
In addition to these physician leaders, the multidisciplinary clinic includes pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, shoulder and hand surgeons, and occupational and physical therapists, who will provide evaluation, management, and treatment for newborns, infants, and children/adolescents.
“Whether these nerve injuries require surgery or not, rehabilitation is vitally important to successful outcomes. Our goal is to optimize the child’s function as best we can with interventions such as therapies or splinting,” Dr. Ferimer said.
“When something like a peripheral nerve injury occurs, it can be a life-altering event for these children and their families. Our holistic, multidisciplinary approach ensures we are providing these patients with the absolute best care and rehabilitation possible to set them on the right track developmentally,” Adkins said.
The clinic will be open from 1-5 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month starting Oct. 11 on the second floor of the WVU Medicine Physician Office Center on the campus of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
Referrals to the clinic are not required, as patients can be initially screened and a referral request to a patient’s physician can then be made by the Clinic, if needed. Appointments can be made by calling 304-598-6127. To read more about our Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Program, click here.
About WVU Medicine Children’s
WVU Medicine Children’s is more than just a hospital. We are a family of doctors, nurses, and other professionals who share the same goal: to provide the best possible care to any child who needs it. We chose careers in pediatric healthcare because we love connecting with and supporting kids of all ages. And because many of us are parents, too, we know how important it is to find a medical provider you trust. You want to work with specialists who care about your child’s health and well-being as much as you do. Learn what sets us apart from other hospitals and why you can count on us when it matters most at WVUKids.com.