Houston, TX (PRWEB) December 26, 2012
Understanding what brachial plexus injury is, how it occurs, and how to treat it, are crucial factors one must know when battling this injury. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in a person’s shoulder, arm, or hand. The nerves that make up our brachial plexus are a bundle of intertwined sensory and motor nerves that attach to our spinal cord. Each nerve in the brachial plexus has a specific sensory or motor function. When these nerves are torn or stretched, a brachial plexus injury occurs. Brachial plexus injuries, or Erb's Palsy, usually result from playing in rough, contact sports; but, they can also result from an automobile accident or complications during birth. Tumors or inflammation can also cause the injury; however these causes are rare.
Minor brachial plexus injury is easier to treat and sometimes goes away on its own. If it does not disappear on its own there are a few non-surgical treatments sufferers can try. Physical therapy is often helpful for Erb's Palsy sufferers and usually consists of stretching and other physical activities; meant to stimulate function of the nerves.
For someone suffering from a major brachial plexus injury, physical therapy may not be enough to manage the excruciating pain that they are experiencing. When someone has a major brachial plexus injury, reconstructive surgery is often the solution. Surgical solutions to brachial plexus injury are often to conduct a nerve graft or nerve transfer. During a nerve graft procedure the surgeon removes the damaged part of the brachial plexus and replaces the affected nerves with healthy nerves found elsewhere on the body.
Most of the time a nerve graft is a sufficient surgical solution to brachial plexus injury; however, when the nerve root has been torn from the spinal cord, a nerve graft will not work. When this happens surgeons must rely on a nerve transfer. During a nerve transfer, surgeons take a less important nerve that is still attached the spinal cord and connect that nerve with the nerve that has been uprooted.
The Texas Brachial Plexus Institute reommends people suffering from brachial plexus injuries consult a doctor within three to six months of obtaining the injury. If sufferers wait any longer they risk permanent damage. The success rate of successful nerve grafting and transfer surgeries drops dramatically for those who wait for a year or more after obtaining the injury to get help. Erb's Palsy needs to be treated immediately and should be treated seriously by sufferers. Consulting surgeons who specialize in brachial plexus injury is the first thing someone with this injury must do; they will help to find a surgical or non-surgical solution and get sufferers the relief they need.
Children and adults who are suffering from brachial plexus injury are encouraged to contact Dr. Armenta, at the Texas Brachial Plexus Institute. Please visit his website: