Brachial Plexus Injury

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INJURY TITLE

Brachial Plexus Injury

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spinal cord to the shoulderarm and hand. These nerves innervate the muscles and skin of the chest, shoulder, arm and hand. Brachial plexus injuries, or lesions, are caused by damage to those nerves.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

Brachial plexus injuries, or lesions, can occur as a result of shoulder trauma, tumours, or inflammation.  But in general, brachial plexus lesions can be classified as either traumatic or obstetric. Obstetric injuries may occur from mechanical injury involving shoulder dystocia during difficult childbirth. Traumatic injury may arise from several causes. “The brachial plexus may be injured by falls from a height on to the side of the head and shoulder, whereby the nerves of the plexus are violently stretched.  The brachial plexus may also be injured by direct violence or gunshot wounds, by violent traction on the arm, or by efforts at reducing a dislocation of the shoulder joint.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • 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.
  • Weakness in the arm,
  • Diminished reflexes, and corresponding sensory deficits.

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination including full tests of nerve function.

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

 

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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