Brachial plexus injury treatment

We found 31 clinics & 49 doctors for Brachial plexus injury Worldwide. AiroMedical ranks among 444 hospitals based on qualification, experience, success rate, and awards.

Brachial plexus injury causes damage to the upper limb (shoulder, forearm, hand) and impairs limb functions. Usually, only one arm is affected. Diagnosis involves a neurological examination, electroneuromyography and imaging (ultrasound, CT or MRI scans). As a primary treatment, doctors offer conservative therapy or surgery (decompression or nerve transplant). An important part is the rehabilitation of the affected limb.

The brachial plexus is made up of a collection of nerves that are responsible for sensation in and movement of the arms. In trauma, the nerves are compressed, stretched or torn, which leads to a stop or poor conduction of signals from the spinal cord to the upper limb.

Physicians identify the causes of damage to the brachial plexus: knife or gunshot wound, a quick stretch and a long-term compression of the plexus nerves.

Many cases of BPI are complicated by disability. For example, road traffic accidents cause 70% of brachial plexus injuries. There are many reasons, including trauma during childbirth, accidents, sports, medical procedures, cancer, and radiation therapy.

Neurologists, together with neurosurgeons, divide BPI into the following types:

  • Avulsion - is the most severe injury, when the nerve root is wholly detached from the spinal cord.
  • Neuropraxia - is a nerve stretch where it can heal on its own or requires minimally conservative treatment.
  • Rupture - overstretching of the nerve leads to its partial or complete break. Such an injury requires surgery.

Symptoms of a brachial plexus injury vary depending on the location and severity of the damage:

  • Mild damages - weakness, numbness in the arm, burning sensation or "electric shock". These symptoms usually last from a few seconds to several minutes, rarely a couple of days.
  • Moderate and severe injuries - weakness (paresis), inability to control the hand muscles, lack of movement (paralysis) and sensitivity in hand, extreme pain.

To diagnose, neurologists conduct a comprehensive examination using MRI scans. Electroneuromyography (ENMG) is an additional diagnostic method showing the degree of impulse conduction from nerves to muscles.

A minor plexus injury usually does not require surgical treatment but only observation. An essential part of the treatment is rehabilitation (physiotherapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, kinesiotherapy). In addition, neurosurgeons might advise operations (nerve transplant, neurolysis, orthopaedic reconstruction).

The type of damage and location determine the prognosis. With avulsion and rupture, recovery is possible only if the case surgical intervention. Most patients with neuropraxia recover spontaneously with 90-100% recovery of function.

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7 countries and 21 cities for Brachial plexus injury