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Brachial Plexus - Symptoms and Treatment

The network of spinal nerves (from the lower neck and upper shoulder) that supply the arm, forearm, and hand with movement and sensation. The nerve roots that arise from C5 to C8 and T1 segments of the spinal cord join to form the brachial plexus that branch out to form the various nerves that supply the upper limb. Brachial plexus injury (BPI) is the umbrella term for a variety of conditions that may impair function of the brachial plexus. This may result in loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or paralysis of some or all of the muscles of the shoulder and upper limb. Some patients may experience avulsion pain in the distribution of the injured nerves. The degree of functional impairment and potential for recovery depend on the mechanism, type, and complexity of the brachial plexus injury. Symptoms may include a limp or paralyzed arm, lack of muscle control in the arm, hand, or wrist, and lack of feeling or sensation in the arm or hand. Although injuries can occur at any time, many brachial plexus injuries happen during birth: the baby's shoulders may become impacted during the birth process causing the brachial plexus nerves to stretch or tear. There are four types of brachial plexus injuries: avulsion, the most severe type, in which the nerve is torn from the spine; rupture, in which the nerve is torn but not at the spinal attachment; neuroma, in which the nerve has tried to heal itself but scar tissue has grown around the injury, putting pressure on the injured nerve and preventing the nerve from conducting signals to the muscles; and neuropraxia or stretch, in which the nerve has been damaged but not torn. Neuropraxia is the most common type of brachial plexus injury.

Symptoms of Brachial Plexus

Some common Symptoms of Brachial Plexus :

  • Severe pain .
  • Little to no control of the fingers, while retaining use of the arm .
  • Complete lack of motor and sensory functions in the arm.



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