Nerve Injuries

The nerves run from the spinal cord to the various part of the body, carrying messages to and from the brain. Nerve injuries can cause pain, numbness and weakness of the arm, wrist and hand.

The brachial plexus is a network of five nerves that begins at the neck and crosses the upper chest to the armpit. Often, when the arm is forcibly pulled or stretched, it can lead to a brachial plexus injury. A traumatic brachial plexus injury involves weakness, numbness and loss of functioning of the shoulder, arm and hand.

What does treatment involve?

While some nerve injuries can get better without help, traumatic nerve injuries are often the result of a nerve laceration, rupture or avulsion of the nerve root, requiring surgical treatment. This is often the case with a brachial plexus injury.

For mild injuries physical therapy, splints, braces and medication may be advised, however for broken or severed nerves surgery is usually done to repair the nerve, allowing it to heal correctly and restore communication between the brain and the upper limb. In cases where the nerve is unlikely to recover, a tendon transfer or a nerve transfer may be required. Recovery after such a nerve injury may be significant and physical therapy may be needed.