The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Brachial plexus injuries are caused by damage to those nerves.
Symptoms may include
- A limp or paralyzed arm
- Lack of muscle control in the arm, hand, or wrist
- Lack of feeling or sensation in the arm or hand
Brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of shoulder trauma, tumors, or inflammation. Sometimes they happen during childbirth when a baby's shoulders become stuck during delivery and the nerves stretch or tear.
Some brachial plexus injuries may heal without treatment. Many children who are injured during birth improve or recover by 3 to 4 months of age. Treatment includes physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Brachial plexopathy (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Brachial Plexus Injuries (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Brachial plexus injury in newborns (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Burner (Stinger) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Burners (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Erb-Duchenne and Dejerine-Klumpke Palsies (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Brachial Plexus Injuries (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Current concepts in plasticity and nerve transfers: relationship between surgical...
- Article: Injuries to the upper extremities in polytrauma: limited effect on...
- Article: Free Functioning Gracilis Muscle Transfer for Elbow Flexion Reconstruction after...
- Brachial Plexus Injuries -- see more articles