The brachial plexus is a system of nerves that conduct signals to the shoulder, arm and hand. These nerves exit from the spinal cord in the neck to direct the movement and touch sensations of the upper arm.
Figure 1: The nerves of the Brachial Plexus in relation to the spine, ribcage, shoulder, and arm.
The basic types of brachial plexus injury are:
Brachial plexus injury symptoms felt in the arm and shoulder can include:
These injuries are caused by high-impact traumas such as:
A traumatic injury of the brachial plexus can have devastating consequences, including loss of function and chronic pain for an otherwise healthy, active patient. Fortunately, new advances in nerve surgery can yield marked improvement in movement and function in the shoulder, elbow and hand while simultaneously diminishing pain.
Early recognition and treatment of this injury, along with the recent advances that have been made in microsurgical reconstruction, have greatly improved outcomes for patients. Injuries for which restoring function would have been impossible only two decades ago are now being treated with nerve reconstruction, increasing the possibility of a return to an active, productive life.
The Center for Brachial Plexus and Traumatic Nerve Injury at HSS leads a multidisciplinary approach to expertly treat injuries of the brachial plexus and peripheral nerves.
A brachial plexus injury can have a devastating effect on upper limb function. Traumatic brachial plexus injuries, which are most commonly sustained in high-speed motor vehicle accidents or sporting events, are characteristically complete, and affect the sensibility and muscle power of the entire extremity. Read more: Adult and Pediatric Brachial Plexus Injuries
Injuries to the brachial plexus (nerves that conduct signals to the shoulder, arm, and hand) can have devastating consequences, including loss of function and chronic pain. Fortunately, new advances in nerve surgery can yield marked improvement in movement and function of the shoulder, elbow, and hand, while simultaneously diminishing pain. Read more: Brachial Plexus Injuries: New Advances in Treatment
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a syndrome that can involve the compression of veins, arteries and/or the brachial plexus nerves. It can cause any combination of:
Read more: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)