The network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand is known as brachial plexus. A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the brachial plexus.
When these nerves are stretched, compressed or, in most serious cases, torn, a brachial plexus injury occurs. It could occur if your shoulder is pressed down forcefully while your head is pushed up and away from that shoulder, or a direct contact hit can also compress these nerves.
Contact sports such as football can cause brachial injuries, but they can also result from auto or motorcycle accidents or falls. Brachial injuries can affect babies sometimes during birth. Other conditions, such as inflammation or tumours, may affect the brachial plexus.
While minor brachial plexus injuries can get better on their own, but severe injuries require surgical repair.
Brachial plexus injury (BPI) is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that may impair function of the brachial plexus nerve network. The majority of paediatric and adult brachial plexus injuries are caused by trauma.
A brachial plexus injury occurring during birth is called birth related brachial plexus palsy or obstetric brachial plexus palsy.
Participating in contact sports, particularly football and wrestling, or being involved in high-speed accidents increases your risk of brachial plexus injury.
Depending on the degree of severity, some brachial plexus injuries are able to heal on their own. The site and type of brachial plexus injury determines the prognosis. For avulsion and rupture injuries, there is no potential for recovery unless surgical reconnection is made in a timely manner. The potential for recovery varies for neuroma and neuropraxia injuries. Most individuals with neuropraxia injuries recover spontaneously with a 90-100% return of function.
Read more articles on Brachial Plexus Injuries.
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