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What are some possible complications of a brachial plexus injury?

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Quick Answer

Complications that may result from a brachial plexus injury include chronic pain due to injured nerves, loss of sensation in the arms and hands, arm joint stiffness due to paralysis, muscle degeneration and irreversible disability, according to Mayo Clinic. However, when patients with a brachial plexus injury receive early treatment, the condition generally disappears without causing any permanent complications; hence, it is advisable to visit a doctor promptly when symptoms of this condition appear.

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Full Answer

A brachial plexus injury is a condition in which one or more nerves located between the spine and shoulders sustain damage as a result of compression, stretching or tearing, notes Mayo Clinic. The causes of brachial plexus injury include tumors that affect the brachial plexus, brachial plexus swelling, trauma due to events such as car accidents, birth complications including prolonged labor and injurious treatments such as radiotherapy. Patients with a brachial plexus injury may experience arm weakness and numbness, a weak shoulder or arm muscles, inability to move the affected arm, and severe pain. However, patients may experience different signs and symptoms based on the how severe the injury is and where the injury is located.

Treatments for a brachial plexus injury include physiotherapy and surgeries such as nerve transfer and nerve graft, states Mayo Clinic. To prevent muscles from losing their functionality, the patient should undergo surgery within seven months following the injury occurrence.

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