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Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that connect the spinal cord to the muscles of the shoulder, arm and hand.  These nerve run from the neck under the collar bone and into the arm to supply both movement and sensation.  When an injury strikes this region or pulls the head away from the shoulder these nerves can suffer damage.

Milder injuries will result in tingling of the arm and weakness, which will generally recover.  More severe injuries result in numbness and paralysis to part or all of the arm and hand.  In these cases it is important to determine whether the injury will recover with time or whether surgery will be required to restore movement to the arm.  The Center for Neurophysiology and Restorative Neurology provides a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and management of these disorders.

At the center you will undergo a state of the art MRI to localize the injury and determine whether there are ruptures (nerves which are severed) or avulsions (nerves which are separated from the spinal cord).  Further confirmation of the type of injury will be provided by neurophysiological studies including electromyograms (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).

With this information, the physicians and surgeons will develop a plan to best restore movement to the arm as quickly as possible.  This may involve surgery, therapy, pain control and other types of treatment to provide for the most comprehensive management of these injuries.  It is important to remember that the earlier a patient is seen following their injury, the more treatment options are available to improve their function.

For more information contact the center at 619-543-5540, Dr. Justin Brown.