Learn About Brachial Plexopathy

What is the definition of Brachial Plexopathy?

Brachial plexopathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the brachial plexus. This is an area on each side of the neck where nerve roots from the spinal cord split into each arm's nerves.

Damage to these nerves results in pain, decreased movement, or decreased sensation in the arm and shoulder.

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What are the alternative names for Brachial Plexopathy?

Neuropathy - brachial plexus; Brachial plexus dysfunction; Parsonage-Turner syndrome; Pancoast syndrome

What are the causes of Brachial Plexopathy?

Damage to the brachial plexus is usually from direct injury to the nerve, stretching injuries (including birth trauma), pressure from tumors in the area (especially from lung tumors), or damage that results from radiation therapy.

Brachial plexus dysfunction may also be associated with:

  • Birth defects that put pressure on the neck area
  • Exposure to toxins, chemicals, or drugs
  • General anesthesia, used during surgery
  • Inflammatory conditions, such as those due to a virus or immune system problem

In some cases, no cause can be identified.

What are the symptoms of Brachial Plexopathy?

Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness of the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tingling, burning, pain, or abnormal sensations (location depends on the area injured)
  • Weakness of the shoulder, arm, hand, or wrist
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What are the current treatments for Brachial Plexopathy?

Treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause and allowing you to use your hand and arm as much as possible. In some cases, no treatment is needed and the problem gets better on its own.

Treatment options include any of the following:

  • Medicines to control pain
  • Physical therapy to help maintain muscle strength.
  • Braces, splints, or other devices to help you use your arm
  • Nerve block, in which medicine is injected into the area near the nerves to reduce pain
  • Surgery to repair the nerves or remove something pressing on the nerves

Occupational therapy or counseling to suggest changes in the workplace may be needed.

Medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease can damage nerves. In these cases, treatment is also directed at the underlying medical condition.

Who are the top Brachial Plexopathy Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

University Of South Santa Catarina

Center Of Biological And Health Sciences 
Tubarao, SC, BR 

Jayme Bertelli is in Tubarao, Brazil. Bertelli is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Brachial Plexopathy. She is also highly rated in 5 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Brachial Plexopathy, Ulnar Nerve Dysfunction, Erb's Palsy, and Mononeuritis Multiplex.

Highly rated in

Radboud University Medical Center

Cognition And Behavior, Radboud University Medical Center 
Nijmegen, GE, NL 

Nens Van Alfen is in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Van Alfen is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Brachial Plexopathy. They are also highly rated in 10 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Hereditary Neuralgic Amyotrophy, Brachial Plexopathy, Cramp-Fasciculation Syndrome, and Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.

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Highly rated in

Leiden University Medical Center

Leiden, ZH, NL 

Willem Pondaag is in Leiden, Netherlands. Pondaag is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Brachial Plexopathy. He is also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Brachial Plexopathy, Erb's Palsy, Femoral Nerve Dysfunction, and Mononeuritis Multiplex.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Brachial Plexopathy?

A good recovery is possible if the cause is identified and properly treated. In some cases, there is partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Nerve pain may be severe and may last for a long time.

What are the possible complications of Brachial Plexopathy?

Complications may include:

  • Deformity of the hand or arm, mild to severe, which can lead to contractures
  • Partial or complete arm paralysis
  • Partial or complete loss of sensation in the arm, hand, or fingers
  • Recurrent or unnoticed injury to the hand or arm due to diminished sensation
When should I contact a medical professional for Brachial Plexopathy?

Call your health care provider if you experience pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand.

Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system
Brachial plexus
What are the latest Brachial Plexopathy Clinical Trials?
Effectiveness and Safety of Early Intramuscular Botulinum Toxin Injections to Prevent Shoulder Deformity in Babies With Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy
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Central Programming in Patients With a Bionic Hand After Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injury
What are the Latest Advances for Brachial Plexopathy?
Parsonage-Turner Syndrome After COVID-19 Vaccination: A Case Report.
Parsonage-Turner syndrome following coronavirus disease 2019 immunization with ChAdOx1-S vaccine: a case report and review of the literature.
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Surgical Innovations to Restore Function in Pediatric Peripheral Nerve Conditions.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : June 23, 2020
Published By : Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Chad DA, Bowley MP. Disorders of nerve roots and plexuses. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 106.

Waldman SD. Cervicothoracic interspinous bursitis. In: Waldman SD, ed. Atlas of Uncommon Pain Syndromes. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.