Brachial Plexus Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s have a look at some of the most common brachial plexus injury questions and answers so that you can understand how to best cope with this birth injury. A brachial plexus injury can be a debilitating injury, to say the least, but in many cases, treatment is possible.
When the brachial plexus nerves get damaged, whether you can fix it or not will depend on the extent of the injuries. A child that has more serious injuries may require surgery to recover. For example, the surgeon will perform a surgery known as a nerve graft where he uses nerves to rebuild the nerves within the child’s arm. However, it can take up to seven years for the nerves to rebuild themselves fully.
In general, the surgery typically takes anywhere from 3 to 12 hours, depending on the extent of the damage and how well the surgery goes. After the surgery, you will need to restrict your child from the activity for a minimum of four weeks, to ensures that your child doesn’t cause damage to the attempted surgical correction.
Surgery can sometimes cause scarring. The scarring can range from a few inches to something more extensive. It depends on how severe the damage to the brachial plexus is and how much work the surgeon will require in order to repair it.
Unless complications have happened in the hospital, your child will most likely be released the day after surgery. In some cases, the surgery may be performed as an outpatient procedure.
In most cases, the surgeon will remove and use a nerve from it an uninjured muscle. He will then take that nerve and apply it to the area with the injured muscle. The surgeon won’t transfer the entire nerve. In fact, only part of the nerve is used, to ensure that the sensation and function within the uninjured area are not affected. If the surgeon needs more nerve tissue, then he or she might choose to take a nerve from the leg.
A frequent question asked is, “What kind of therapy does my child need?” Your child will most likely require physical therapy, which helps improve range of motion. Most of the time, this program begins prior to surgical intervention.
Your child may qualify for financial help from government programs and other assistance programs. For example, with cerebral palsy, there are many different government grants available for children with this disability. Brachial plexus differs from cerebral palsy, but it does have some similarities.