A brachial plexus injury is an injury to the system of nerves that controls the movement of your shoulder, arm and hand. The injury occurs when the nerves are stretched, damaged or torn. A brachial plexus injury typically occurs as a stretch injury during birth. However these injuries are also common in contact sports, falls or auto accidents. We treat all forms of brachial plexus injuries including:
- Neonatal/birth-related brachial plexus palsy
- Traumatic brachial plexus palsy
- Peripheral nerve tumors affecting the upper extremities
Choosing Children’s National for Brachial Plexus Care
- Early intervention. We specialize in early recognition and early treatment of brachial plexus injuries to minimize complications for newborns and children and maximize function.
- Ease of comprehensive care. We bring together clinicians from various specialties, including Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy, Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery so patients and families can be evaluated and advised comprehensively on the same day by all members of the care team.
What is Brachial Plexus Palsey?
About one to two in 1,000 full-term newborns experience brachial plexus palsy. Some injuries can be due to traumas or accidents. The majority of occurrences, though, are due to injury to the nerve roots, or nerves to the arm, typically during the birthing process.
Our team offers many treatment options for patients with brachial plexus injury to optimize outcomes. Treatment options include:
- Therapeutic rehabilitation
- Braces and splints
- Home exercise plan that educates parents on how to engage their child in therapeutic activities at home
- Botulinum injections to address muscular imbalance across the shoulder and arm
- Surgery (if needed), including:
- Repair of nerve damage with nerve grafting and nerve transfers
- Contracture release
- Tendon and muscle transfer