Brachial Plexus Injuries occur when the nerves responsible for sending signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand suffer trauma that results in them being stretched, compressed or torn away from the spinal cord. This can affect both the ability to fully and freely move these limbs, as well as the ability to feel temperature and pain in arms, wrists and hands.
Injury to this vital network of nerves can occur in a variety of ways (contact sports, cancer and radiation, inappropriate autoimmune response) and drastically range in severity depending on the victim’s age and the exact location and circumstances of the injury. Contact sports, cancer and radiation, as well as an inappropriate autoimmune response can all injure the Brachial Plexus. Newborns can even sustain Brachial Plexus Injury during a difficult labor and delivery.
The most severe injuries of this type generally occur in high speed auto or motorcycle accidents.
While many minor Brachial Plexus Injuries may heal on their own with proper treatment, others can require ongoing medical or surgical intervention such as nerve grafts, and nerve/muscle transfers, accompanied by physical therapy to restore function. The most severe injuries can result in chronic conditions ranging from stiff, painful joints and muscle atrophy to the permanent muscle weakness or paralysis in the arms and hands.
MDCLCP can play a valuable role in increasing quality of life for people living with ongoing healthcare requirements from Brachial Plexus Injury by creating Life Care Plans outlining the needs and costs associated with future care.