Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Clinic

The Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Clinic at Shepherd Center offers a comprehensive therapy and treatment program to improve upper-extremity function for people with catastrophic injuries who have limited function in their arms, wrists and hands. This clinic is available to Shepherd Center inpatients, day program patients and outpatients.

Rehabilitation Program

The Clinic provides a comprehensive rehabilitation program for people who are experiencing the following issues:

  • Brachial plexus injuries 
  • Orthopedic-related issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse syndromes and trauma-related issues
  • Pain in the shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Spasticity and tone in the upper extremities
  • Stiffness, immobility or contractures in upper-extremity joints, resulting in limited functional performance
  • Tendon transfer restoration following paralysis

Surgical Interventions

Brachial Plexus Surgery:  Depending on the type and location of the brachial plexus injury, surgery may be recommended to repair the brachial plexus. Surgery may involve the removal of damaged nerves, nerve grafts or transferring a nerve from its original attachment to another nerve site, which then restores functional ability.

Tetraplegia Surgery:  Tendon Transfer Surgery is a surgical option that is most commonly used to effectively restore arm, wrist and hand functions, such as wrist extension, grip and pinch. Surgery involves transferring a muscle with good strength from its original attachment to another muscle site, which then restores functional ability. Nerve transfers are a newer surgical option that can help improve the results of tendon transfers in select individuals. 

Surgery for Orthopedic Issues:  The clinic also offers surgical options for other orthopedic-related issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse syndromes, contractures and trauma-related issues.

Who Qualifies?

Each patient is evaluated by a team of rehabilitation professionals at Shepherd Center to determine the source of the upper-extremity dysfunction, and a plan is developed with the team. If a patient is determined appropriate, a course of aggressive therapy may follow. Surgical interventions are also considered, if deemed appropriate by the team.

Your Team

The Upper Extremity (UE) Rehabilitation Clinic team includes:

Orthopedic UE and Hand Surgeons:

  • Allen Peljovich, M.D., MPH – Orthopedic surgeon with specialized training with paralysis caused by tetraplegia, brain injury, brachial plexsus injury, stroke
  • Douglas Murray, M.D. – Orthopedic surgeon with specialized training in shoulder and elbow injuries
  • Bryce Gilespie, M.D. – Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon

Occupational or Physical Therapist – Specialized training in upper-extremity rehabilitation

Nurse – Assists in coordinating surgery and post-operative needs

Case Manager – Coordinates care during the surgical and rehabilitation process

More Information

To watch a video, listen to a podcast and read an article about tendon transfer surgery, visit Shepherd Center's online newsroom. Click here.

For more information on services available in the Upper Extremity Clinic, contact case manager Jana Candia at jana.candia@shepherd.org or 404-350-3102.