Brachial plexus injury is a serious condition that usually affects young adults. Progress in brachial plexus repair is intimately related to peripheral nerve surgery, and depends on clinical and experimental studies. We review the rat brachial plexus as an experimental model, together with its behavioral evaluation. Techniques to repair nerves, such as neurolysis, nerve coaptation, nerve grafting, nerve transfer, fascicular transfer, direct muscle neurotization, and end-to-side neurorraphy, are discussed in light of the authors' experimental studies. Intradural repair of the brachial plexus by graft implants into the spinal cord and motor rootlet transfer offer new possibilities in brachial plexus reconstruction. The clinical experience of intradural repair is presented. Surgical planning in root rupture or avulsion is proposed. In total avulsion, the authors are in favor of the reconstruction of thoraco-brachial and abdomino-antebrachial grasping, and on the transfer of the brachialis muscle to the wrist extensors if it is reinnervated. Surgical treatment of painful conditions and new drugs are also discussed. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Microsurgery, 2006.