A brachial plexus injury BPI , also known as brachial plexus lesion , is an injury to the brachial plexus , the network of nerves that conducts signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder , arm and hand. These nerves originate in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth cervical C5—C8 , and first thoracic T1 spinal nerves, and innervate the muscles and skin of the chest, shoulder, arm and hand. Brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of shoulder trauma, tumours, or inflammation. The rare Parsonage-Turner Syndrome causes brachial plexus inflammation without obvious injury, but with nevertheless disabling symptoms.
Adult Brachial Plexus Injury
Your Condition & Treatment - Adult Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord. Minor brachial plexus injuries, known as stingers or burners, are common in contact sports, such as football. Babies sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth. Other conditions, such as inflammation or tumors, may affect the brachial plexus. The most severe brachial plexus injuries usually result from auto or motorcycle accidents. Severe brachial plexus injuries can leave your arm paralyzed, with a loss of function and sensation.
Your Condition & Treatment
Skip to content. Initial evaluation is necessary to take place as early as possible no sooner than one month after injury but no later than months in order to be able to provide appropriate care and interventions. An adult brachial plexus palsy is usually the result of trauma to the neck and shoulder areas. The mechanism may be a lateral traction injury to the brachial plexus nerves in the neck causing damage to the nerves and a loss of function.
Fortunately, new advances in nerve surgery can yield marked improvement in movement and function of the shoulder, elbow, and hand, while simultaneously diminishing pain. Figure 1: The nerves of the brachial plexus in relation to the spine, ribcage, shoulder, and arm. The nerves divide and join repeatedly before terminating in several peripheral nerves that branch out to supply the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, and hand.