The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus can cause symptoms such as:
- 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 happen because 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 Injury (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
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Brachial Plexus Injuries (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: The anterior axillary nerve approach: A novel technical for shoulder surgery.
- Article: Ultrasound assessment of the brachial plexus nerve root cross-sectional areas in...
- Article: Maternal and neonatal outcomes according to the timing of diagnosis of...
- Brachial Plexus Injuries -- see more articles