Overview

The brachial plexus is a bundle of intertwined nerves that stem from the nerve roots in the neck (cervical) and an upper trunk portion of the spinal cord. It creates a network that connects with nerves in the arms and controls the sensation and motion in the arms, wrists, and fingers. The nerves that assist the arms exit the spinal column high in the neck while those which support hands and fingers exit lower in the neck.

A traumatic brachial plexus injury occurs due to sudden damage, compression, stretch, or in most severe cases when nerves are ripped from the spinal cord. The nerves may also be damaged due to cancer or radiation treatment. Babies may also sustain brachial plexus during the delivery process.

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    A doctor conducting diagnostics for Spinal Cord Compression

    Symptoms

    Symptoms depend on the type and location of the injury and how severe it is. The most common symptoms of brachial plexus injury include:

    • Weakness, numbness, or loss of feeling in arm or hands
    • Inability to move arm, wrist, or hand (paralysis)
    • Arm(s) that hang limply
    • Severe stinging pain in the shoulder/arm
    A spine surgeon standing with stethoscope in one hand

    Diagnosis

    If you suspect any loss of movement or sensation in your hands or arms, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately. Your doctor may order some diagnostic tests to identify potential sites of nerve injury. These tests include:

    • An X-Ray of the shoulder & neck
    • Imaging tests such as CT Scans or MRI
    • Electromyogram or nerve conduction study
    Huntington's Disease

    Treatment

    Mild brachial plexus injuries respond well to nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, corticosteroid injections or creams, medications, etc. In severe conditions when nerves don’t heal on their own or fail to restore the function of hands or arms, surgery is the best option for brachial plexus treatment. Surgical treatments include:

    • Nerve grafts
    • Nerve repair
    • Nerve transfer
    • Neurolysis

    Why Choose Southern California

    At Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery, our expert Neurosurgeon – Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe is well-versed in treating all types of brachial plexus injuries. You can consider our services as we offer:

    1.

    Advanced diagnostic methods

    2.

    State-of-the-art technology

    3.

    Minimal Invasive Surgery

    4.

    Patient-centered approach

    5.

    Recovery with less downtime

    6.

    Outstanding patient care

    For more information call us at (213) 369-4583 or visit our office in Los Angeles today!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    faq
    Can I recover from Brachial Plexus Injury without surgery?
    A:

    If you have a minor Brachial Plexus Injury, you will recover from 90-100%. However, in severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the damage and restore function.

    What if I leave Brachial Plexus Injury Untreated?
    A:

    Mild Brachial Plexus Injury may heal without any medical intervention. However, in severe cases, if you delay the treatment of Brachial Plexus Injury, it may lead to permanent disability in the arm.