Brachial Plexus Surgery

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A brachial plexus injury basically happens to the brachial plexus, which is the network of nerves that sends signals from spine to shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury happens when nerves are stretched or, in the worst cases are torn. This thing happens as a result of your shoulder pressed down forcefully while your head is pushed up and away from that shoulder. Brachial plexus is common in contact sports, but frequently happens from motorcycle and auto accidents or falls. Babies sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth and other conditions such as inflammation, tumors and may affect the brachial plexus. Minor injuries may get better on their own but severe injuries require surgical repair. Brachial Plexus Surgery helps in restoring functions in the upper limb of the paralyzed limb, where the injury has taken place. Results of the surgery will depend on the severity of the injury and early initiative taken by the patient to get the Brachial Plexus Surgery done by an expert surgeon.

How is brachial plexus treated?

Many brachial plexus conditions can recover with time and therapy. These can get recovered within weeks or months. When an injury is unlikely to get better, several surgical techniques can be used to improve the recovery. In order to decide which injury is likely to recover, physician will rely upon multiple examinations of the arm and hand to check the strength of muscles and sensation. Doctors may also conduct additional testing such as an MRI scan which may be used to visually evaluate the brachial plexus. They may also perform a nerve conduction study, a test which measures the electrical activity transmitted by nerves and muscles, which may also be performed. In some cases, nerves repair or transfer of undamaged nerves from other areas of the body can also be conducted. In other cases, tendon transfer can also be performed as per the need.

What is my role in recovery and what kind of results can I expect?

The patient is required to do various things to keep up with the muscle activity and prevent the joints from getting firm. Doctor may recommend you therapies to keep your joints flexible. If your joints become stiff, they will not work even after muscles begin to work again. When a sensory nerve gets injured, patient has to be extra careful in not to burn or cut the fingers since you will not feel anything in that area. When the nerve has recovered, brain gets lazy and a procedure called sensory re-education may be required to improve feeling in the hand or finger. Suitable therapy will be recommended by your doctor based on the nature of your injury. Many factors may affect brachial plexus injury that includes age, type, severity and location of the injury. However, brachial plexus injury can result in lasting problems for the patient. Thus, proper care by physician and proper therapy can help in maximizing function.

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