Hand and Upper Extremity Treatments

Every child’s hand or limb problem is unique. Experts at our Hand and Upper Extremity Orthopaedic Program customize a treatment plan to address your child’s specific needs.

Our Children’s Orthopaedic Center is among the top four pediatric programs of its kind in the country. At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, your child receives care at one of the nation’s top five pediatric hospitals, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Treatments for Hand and Upper Extremity Injuries

Our orthopaedic specialists are dedicated to improving the way a child’s hand or arm looks and works. Depending on your child’s condition, treatments include:

  • Fracture care: We treat simple bone breaks, as well as complex breaks that may damage skin, tendons, ligaments, soft tissues or growth plates. When appropriate, we partner with our Trauma and Fracture Program experts.
  • Growth plate repair: An injury to a growth plate (tissue at the end of a bone) can stop a bone from growing to its proper size and shape. Surgery to repair severe growth plate injuries requires a high level of expertise. Your child’s doctor uses plates, screws, wires or other implants to reposition bone fragments into the proper place.
  • Nerve transfer surgery: We’re nationally known for our expertise in performing nerve transfer surgery. This complex procedure can restore movement in children with spinal cord injuries, nerve injuries or acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Your child’s surgeon transfers a healthy nerve to the affected area. The transplanted healthy nerve performs the work of the damaged nerve.
  • Limb reattachments: We expertly reattach fingers, hands and limbs amputated in accidents. During microvascular surgery, our experts reconnect small blood vessels and nerves to save the injured area. Children often come to us through our comprehensive Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center.
  • Microvascular surgery: This precise surgery reconnects tiny blood vessels and nerves. This surgical approach benefits children born with congenital hand disorders, such as extra fingers, webbed fingers or amniotic band syndrome. We also use it to reattach severed fingers or limbs.
  • Compartment syndrome surgery: Compartment syndrome causes painful swelling in certain groups (compartments) of muscles, nerves and blood vessels in the limbs. We’re experts at fasciotomy surgery. This procedure alleviates pressure by opening the fascia, or tissue membrane, that covers the affected compartment.

Specialized Hand Therapy

Our occupational therapists have advanced training in helping children regain the use of their hands and upper limbs. Your child’s doctor may recommend hand therapy as the primary treatment or to speed recovery after surgery. Hand therapy is especially helpful for children affected by:

  • Amputations
  • Burns
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Congenital hand disorders