Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial Plexus Injury

What Causes This Injury?

Running from the spinal cord through the neck and up to the arms, when you sustain an injury to the brachial plexus, it can have an effect on the communication with the upper body. This injury happens to any part of the nerve fibers, and the injury has a range anywhere from mild to severe. With mild cases, it can heal, but if your child sustains a more serious injury, it can last for a long time.

When it comes to the most common causes of this injury, it happens when there is excessive stretching. It could also happen during forced labor or a forced delivery. For most of the circumstances, the delivery will put a lot of stress on the child. In addition, a vacuum extraction tool or a forceps can cause an injury. Maternal obesity or maternal diabetes can cause this because of how it will increase the size of the child and cause problems. A doctor must apply a highly precise amount of pressure when he goes to deliver the child, or it can cause an injury.


This disorder affects the peripheral neural system. As this happens, the child might lose his sensory and motor function temporarily. In most cases, this injury will clear up on its own. This will have an impact on the protective covering and the lining of the nerves. You could see how it brings on pain and difficulties. Some of the most common symptoms that you encounter with this injury include:

  • Sensitivity to the damaged area
  • Weak muscles
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Tingling

Neuropraxia can cause you a lot of pain until it begins to clear up.

How Do Doctors Diagnose It?

Typically, doctors will diagnose this birth disorder through using a number of tests and evaluations for the individual. To give an example, they might look at the muscles and the motor function of an individual.

A brachial plexus injury has many similarities to cerebral palsy because of how these injuries can all cause paralysis. In some cases, you may have to seek financial help to help with treating your child. You have a number of grants and other things available to help your child. In some cases, doctors might perform an x-ray or a physical examination as a way of seeking out fractures that may have happened to the child. More serious injuries will have a lower chance of getting resolved. Every injury in each situation will have its own uniqueness.


When infants have problems with their brachial plexus, you could have a variety of causes. A chief cause of this comes from damaging the nerve network that runs throughout the neck, the shoulders and the arms. It leads to miscommunication in the nerves for how the muscles communicate with the rest of the body. You have a few different reasons for why this happens. However, doctors attribute the most common cause for this as a long and difficult labor and delivery.

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When a brachial plexus injury happens, this birth injury happens through damage that occurred to the nerves that control the movement in the arms and shoulders. Your child faces symptoms like weakness in the arms; paralysis in the hands, arms or shoulders; or a loss of feeling in the shoulders, arms or hands. Typically, a brachial plexus injury happens through long and difficult labor. The most common conditions associated with this injury include pleuraxia, Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy.

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What are some of the brachial plexus symptoms that you should be aware of to indicate that your child suffered an injury? Depending on the severity and location of the injury, the symptoms will vary from one child to the next. Typically, this birth injury will have more pain to it if the sits near the spinal cord and neck, but you will feel less pain when the injury occurred farther away. Because brachial plexus injuries classify under a category, you have a variety of symptoms that you can encounter.

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Brachial plexus injury can be a debilitating birth injury that can take away your child’s ability to move his hands, arms or shoulders. If you believe that your child suffers from this condition, you want to get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Treatment usually goes better the sooner you diagnose it. Your doctor will also look at the severity of the injury to figure out the best route for treatment.

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Risk Factors

The treatment for brachial plexus injuries have improved over the last couple of decades, but we still see many brachial plexus injuries. In fact, they have become one of the most common injuries in the United States. Weakness in the upper arms could indicate that the child may have developed a brachial plexus injury as a birth injury. In some cases, nerve tissue components can be regenerated if the nerve tissue has been preserved.

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Does your child have a brachial plexus injury? If so, you may be looking for a brachial plexus cure, and while doctors don’t have a definite cure, they do have different treatments that could help. Also, in many cases, an infant with a brachial plexus injury will recover. In that way, this birth injury differs from cerebral palsy because of how you can recover from it.

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Brachial Plexus Frequently Asked Questions

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