Brachial plexus is a nerve network that is responsible for sending signals from the backbone to the shoulders, arms and hands. Strain, pressure, or injury that causes this nerve tissue to damage or even tear or break can cause problems.
Minor injuries are common in physical contact during sports, such as soccer. Brachial plexus nerve injury can also occur during labor. Certain health conditions, such as inflammation or tumors, can affect this nerve tissue.
The most serious injury cases usually occur in traffic accidents. This can cause your hands to become paralyzed and numb.
The function of the brachial plexus nerve can be corrected with a muscle or nerve graft through surgery.
Brachial Plexus Injury Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of brachial plexus injury can vary, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Usually, only one side of the arm is affected.
Minor injuries usually cause symptoms such as electric shock or burning sensation in the entire arm, or numbness (numbness) or weakness in the arm. These symptoms usually last only a few minutes, but some people can experience them up to daily even weekly or even longer.
In more severe cases of injury, for example until torn or detached from the spine, usually causes Weakness or inability to move the muscles of the hand, arm, or shoulder. Can not move and feel the sensation of stimulation, such as the shoulder or hand. Great pain.
There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have a concern about a specific symptom, consult your doctor.
Causes Brachial Plexus Injury
Damage to the upper part of the nerve tissue of the brachial plexus tends to occur when your shoulder is pressed down while the neck is pulled up.
The lower part of the nerve tends to hurt when the hand is pulled or pulled forcefully over the head.
This can be caused by several things:
- Sports like when soccer
- Difficult labor, such as breech babies or prolonged labor, causes the baby’s shoulder to become stuck in the birth canal. Damage to the upper nerves is called Erb’s palsy.
- Physical trauma, from traffic accidents, falls, or gunshot wounds.
- Inflammation that causes damage to the brachial nerve plexus. One of them is caused by a rare condition called Parsonage-Turner syndrome
- Non-cancerous tumors or cancers that grow in the brachial plexus or cause pressure on the brachial plexus or spread to the nerve tissue, causing damage.
- Cancer Radiotherapy
Diagnosis Brachial Plexus Injury
The doctor diagnoses the injury by observing the symptoms and conducting a series of physical examinations, including: MRI, CT Scan, Nerve Conduction Test or Angiogram.
Treatment Brachial Plexus Injury
Treatment will be based on the severity of the injury, the type of injury, the distance from the time of injury to treatment, and various other factors.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to keep your joints and muscles functioning properly, maintain range of motion, and prevent stiff joints.
Scarring may form during the recovery process of the injury, which can be repaired surgically to improve nerve function. This procedure is usually aimed at nerve injuries that have been torn or broken off.
Surgery to repair an injury must be done immediately at least 6-7 months after the injury. If it’s more than this, your muscles may no longer be able to function.
Other injury repair procedures include nerve grafts, nerve transfers (from other areas in your spine), to muscle transfers (move muscles or tendons from other areas of your body to replace injured tissue).
To manage pain from injury, doctors usually prescribe opiate painkillers. The reason is, the pain from a brachial plexus injury is often described as extreme pain, crushes, and a debilitating, continuous burning sensation.