On this episode, we are joined by James Northcutt, an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, to discuss brachial plexus birth injuries. James is the coordinator of the brachial plexus program at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. We discuss several aspects of this diagnosis from evaluation at birth or soon after, how to address the needs of these children, and some of the interventions these kids might receive to address their impairments. He also gives us some great therapy treatment ideas and how to help these children from infancy to adulthood.
My career began in adult hand at Bay Area Rehabilitation Center in Baytown and after two years I applied for a position at Shriners Hospital despite not having the credentials they were seeking. Shriners took a chance on me, and I fell in love with caring for tiny humans. Five years in to practice I was given the opportunity to serve as the brachial plexus clinic coordinator and hand therapist at Texas Children's Hospital, a role I've been in for five years.
I am an adjunct professor for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Texas Woman’s University lecturing on brachial plexus birth palsy, anatomy of the upper extremity and helping out in the cadaver lab. Special interests include innovation in care through a collaboration with the Engineering Program at Rice University and custom orthosis design for pediatric patients.
I enjoy woodworking and building lamps out of antique appliances when time allows, and my weekends are filled with family activities. I am honored to be considered for the ASHT podcast and hope to give back to the profession that has given me so much joy. I am married to my beautiful and brilliant wife Leah, who is the greater of two therapists in our home. We have two crazy boys Isaac (3) and Evan (1) who keep us on our toes and are responsible for most of my gray hair.