This study reports the gains in length of nerves after three different humeral shortenings. Ten brachial plexuses were dissected. The lengths of the different parts of the brachial plexus were measured using a three-dimensional digitizing system after humeral shaft shortenings of 2, 4 and 6 cm and after a standardized force of 0.588 N was used to apply tension to the plexus. The feasibility of nerve suturing was studied. Humeral shortening allowed for significant gains in lengths of the musculocutaneous (42 mm), median (41 mm), ulnar (29 mm) and radial nerves (15 mm). A 2 cm humeral shortening allowed a 2 cm nerve gap to be directly sutured in 70% to 90% of cases. This study suggests that humeral shortening could allow direct suture of nerve defects, or shorten the length of nerve grafts required to bridge a gap.