Skip to navigation

Hand, arm and shoulder

Hand, arm and shoulder

Most children don’t think twice about gripping a pen, throwing a ball or reaching up high. But for a child born with a congenital hand difference, upper limb deficiency or brachial plexus birth palsy, such everyday tasks can pose big challenges. The specialized orthopaedic team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California provides the complex, compassionate care every child deserves. The medical team works to advance the lives of children through leading-edge surgical care, therapy and research.

Hand, arm and shoulder orthopaedic conditions treated include:

  • Adactyly
  • Amniotic band syndrome/constriction bands
  • Cleft hand/central deficiency/ectrodactyly
  • Congenital amputation (transverse deficiency)
  • Congenital radial head dislocation
  • Polydactyly
  • Proximal radio-ulnar synostosis
  • Radius deficiency
  • Symbrachydactyly
  • Syndactyly
  • Thumb deficiency
  • Ulnar deficiency

Traumatic injuries

  • Fracture follow-up
  • Nerve and tendon injuries
  • Post-traumatic deformities

Neuromuscular conditions

  • Arthrogryposis
  • Brachial plexus birth palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal cord injury

Orthopaedic research

Led by Dr. Michelle James, the orthopaedic clinical research program is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, therapists, bio-mechanical engineers and clinical research professionals, focusing on research pertaining to children’s hand and arm function. Current research projects include:

  • Motion analysis studies of children’s thumbs, elbows and shoulders
  • Development and evaluation of a smartphone application to test hand function in preschoolers
  • Studies of hand function in several conditions including cerebral palsy and symbrachydactyly
  • Development of pediatric elbow function evaluation tool
  • Long term follow-up studies of children with brachial plexus birth palsy