How do you know if you have a brachial plexus injury?

The most serious brachial plexus injury occurs when the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of more-severe injuries can include: Weakness or inability to use certain muscles in your hand, arm or shoulder. Complete lack of movement and feeling in your arm, including your shoulder and hand.

What is the difference between an upper and lower brachial plexus injury?

Injuries to the upper brachial plexus (C5, C6) affect muscles of the shoulder and elbow. Injuries to the lower brachial plexus (C7, C8, and T1) can affect muscles of the forearm and hand.

What is a lower brachial plexus injury?

Lower brachial plexus injuries occur when the arm and shoulder are forced upward, increasing the angle between the arm and the chest. This illustration shows a left plexus. Reproduced with permission from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

What happens if a brachial plexus injury is left untreated?

The most common cause of brachial plexus injury is stretching, compressing, or tearing of the nerves that may result in scar formation. Although some brachial plexus injuries may heal on their own, others may result in lifelong disability if not treated promptly.

What does brachial plexus injury feel like?

Common symptoms of brachial plexus injuries are: Numbness or loss of feeling in the hand or arm. Inability to control or move the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand. An arm that hangs limply.

What muscles would be affected by damage to the lower brachial plexus?

Symptoms depend on where along the length of the brachial plexus the injuries occur and how severe they are. Injuries to nerves that root higher up on the spinal cord, in the neck, affect the shoulder. If nerves that originate lower in the brachial plexus are injured, the arm, wrist and hand are affected.

Where is the pain with brachial plexus injury?

Symptoms depend on where along the length of the brachial plexus the injuries happen and how severe they are. These are common symptoms of brachial plexus injuries: No feeling in the hand or arm. Pain in the arm or hand.

How do I relieve pain from brachial plexus?

Brachial plexus injuries can limit your range of motion and cause pain in your neck, shoulder, arm, wrist, or hand. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain medication for relief, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If necessary, a stronger pain medication may be prescribed for one or two weeks.

What doctor treats brachial plexus injury?

Orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and rehabilitation specialists are all part of the brachial plexus team at Mayo Clinic.