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.
Some brachial plexus injuries may heal without treatment or if needed, physical therapy or pain management or a combination of both can be used to assist patients in their recovery. SCCNS is proud to provide non-surgical patients with our comprehensive pain management and physical therapy programs. In more serious injuries as in cases of avulsion or rupture injuries, surgery is required. The surgeons at SCCNS use the most advanced microsurgical techniques to repair brachial plexus injuries.