Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from your
spine to your shoulder arm and hand on either side of your body. These
injuries most commonly occur when these nerves are stretched or in more
serious cases torn. These injuries happen when the shoulder is pressed
down forcefully and the head is pushed the opposite way from that shoulder.
This type of injury most commonly occurs in contact sports such as football,
wrestling, Jiu Jitsu type fighting, etc. However they also frequently
result from automobile and motorcycle accidents and babies may sometimes
sustain this injury during birth.
Symptoms of brachial plexus injuries may include:
- Shooting pain or burning sensation down your arm.
- Numbness or weakness, possible limp or paralyzed arm.
- Lack of muscle control in your arm, hand or wrist.
- Loss of feeling in arm, hand or wrist.
The severity of the injury is determined by the damage done to the nerves.
In severe cases, avulsion, is caused when the nerve root is severed or
cut from the spinal cord. An incomplete form of avulsion where part of
the nerve is damaged may be able to recover on its own over a period of
time. The stretching of the brachial plexus or neuropraxia is the mildest
and most common form of brachial plexus injury usually as a result of
sports injuries. Neuropraxia damages the protective covering of the nerve
but may not damage the nerve underneath.