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A brachial plexus is a group of nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck and go down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, wrist, hand and elbow. They also provide feeling in the arm. Minor brachial plexus injuries completely recover in several weeks, but severe injuries can cause some permanent disability in the arm. Stretching, pressure or cutting can cause damage to these nerves. In severe cases, the nerves can tear out of the spinal cord in the neck. Symptoms: Nerve injuries can halt signals to and from the brain. It prevents the muscles of the arm and hands from working properly. It also causes loss of feeling in the area.
HOW IS BRACHIAL PLEXUS DIAGNOSED?
Injuries related to the brachial plexus can be diagnosed by physical examination. The doctor may also order for imaging tests like CT scan and MRI for evaluating the impact on the brachial plexus due to accident or sport injury. Injuries that occur during birth are diagnosed through imaging tests.
HOW IS BRACHIAL PLEXUS TREATED?
Treatment depends on several factors including the severity of the injury, the type of injury, the length of time since the injury and other existing conditions. Surgical repair is often required for nerves in severe cases. Surgery to repair brachial plexus nerves should generally occur within six to seven months after the injury. The types of surgery are nerve transfer, nerve graft and muscle transfer. Painkillers are prescribed to control the pain.
DID YOU KNOW?
Many children who are injured during birth recover by 3 to 4 months of age