Virginia Hand Center
The University of Virginia Hand Center in Charlottesville, VA, is a state-of-the-art medical facility dedicated to the complete care of the hand and upper extremity through surgery. It is the only one of its kind in the state of Virginia and offers unsurpassed expertise and convenience.
Our Team of Specialists
At the UVA Hand Center, our multidisciplinary team provides a complete continuum of care that spans from diagnosis and treatment to surgery and physical therapy, all in a single facility. Our team includes:
- Orthopaedic specialists
- Plastic surgeons
- Physician assistants
- Occupational therapists
This comprehensive facility resulted from the vision of Dr. Bobby Chhabra, co-founder of the Hand Center and Chair of the University’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Hand Surgery Surgeons
At UVA Plastic Surgery, our highly regarded surgeons offer expertise and personalized care for a rewarding patient experience.Meet Our Surgeons
The team of plastic surgeons at UVA Plastic Surgery includes specialists who have extensive training and experience performing intricate surgery of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow to correct disease, injury, and congenital abnormalities. Conditions treated include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Arthritis of the hand, wrist, and elbow
- Complex fractures
- Sports injuries
- Tendon and nerve injuries, including brachial plexus injuries (see below)
- Neurovascular injuries
- Congenital hand differences
Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injuries
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from your cervical spine (in the neck) to your shoulder, arm, and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or, in the most serious cases, torn from the cervical spinal cord. These injuries can cause paralysis of the hand, arm, and shoulder with a loss of both function and sensation.
A variety of situations can cause these injuries. For example:
- Contact sports are often responsible for minor brachial plexus injuries, referred to as “stingers” or “burners.”
- Babies sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries during the birth process.
- Tumors, malignancies, and inflammatory problems may also affect the brachial plexus.
- Severe brachial plexus injuries are typically the result of motor vehicle collisions.
Surgical procedures such as nerve grafts, nerve transfers, or muscle transfers can help restore function. Dr. DeGeorge is an upper extremity and peripheral nerve specialist who works in coordination with Dr. Chhabra, who has years of experience restoring function after these devastating injuries.
Brachial plexus injuries have the potential to lead to permanent weakness or disability—even if your symptoms appear minor. It is advisable to see a doctor if you have any of the following warning signs:
- New onset of weakness in your hand or arm
- Weakness in any part of the arm following trauma
- Complete paralysis of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand following trauma
- New onset of neck pain
- Symptoms in both arms, or symptoms in upper and lower limbs.
Time is a key factor in treating brachial plexus injuries. It is important to be evaluated and treated within 3 to 6 months of a brachial plexus injury. Any delay in treatment may adversely affect your treatment options and compromise the outcomes of nerve surgery.