How Do Doctors Choose to Treat It?
There is not a definite brachial plexus cure, but there are various options that may be beneficial in management. How the doctor chooses to treat your child will depend on the type of injury sustained. In some cases, the doctor may only recommend a light form of gentle therapy for your child. With a more severe degree of injury, he might opt for surgery. Surgery will have the greatest impact when the brachial plexus injury is thought to be permanent without surgical correction. Typically, your child’s doctor will wait between three to six months before choosing to treat it surgically, to help confirm that surgery is the preferred option.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
There are four main types of brachial plexus injuries, and your child’s doctor will recommend treatment based on the type and severity of the injury. one type is an avulsion injury. This happens when the nerve gets torn away from the attachment at the spinal cord. Doctors consider this the most severe form, and it can lead to a condition known as Horner’s Syndrome. Next, you have an injury known as a rupture. When a rupture occurs, it means that the nerve was torn. Another type of brachial plexus injury is known as a neuroma. This happens whenever scar tissue grows around the site of the injury. It adds increasing pressure to the nerve, and it can block the nerve from sending signals to the muscles. Finally, you have a condition known as neuropraxia. This is the least severe of the types, and it typically happens when the nerve gets stretched. Fortunately, in many cases, if the nerve has only been stretched, the injury will heal on its own.
Doctors prefer to use the non-surgical approach whenever possible because any surgery involves possible risks and complications. This also becomes an important part of the treatment process. Occupational and physical therapy has become one of the most common non-surgical management methods.
In general, the long-term outlook for this condition looks favorable. Regardless, it is important to keep the joints limber because a brachial plexus injury can last for a lifetime. Doctors’ main focus is on maximizing the capabilities of the child and improving his or her quality of life. Always remember that your child can learn how to adapt to this condition, and in most cases, it will decrease in severity over time.