Phone: 817-697-4038 Fax: 877-409-3962


If you suffer from pain or weakness in shoulders or arms, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Are Brachial Plexus Injuries?

Specialists define the brachial plexus as the network of nerves transmitting signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder and down into the arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury can occur when patients stretch, compress, or in serious cases, rip the nerves away from the spinal cord.

Minor brachial plexus injuries, also known as “stingers” or “burners” commonly occur in high-impact sports such as football and rugby. Some babies may also sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries at birth. Inflammation or tumors can also affect the brachial plexus in some rare cases.

Severe brachial plexus injuries tend to result from car or motorcycle accidents. Severe brachial plexus injuries can lead to paralyzation of the arm, although surgery can help to restore function.

Indication Of Brachial Plexus Injuries

The symptoms of a brachial plexus injury can vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  1. Weakness or Paralysis: Partial or complete loss of muscle control and strength in the affected arm, shoulder, or hand.
  2. Numbness or Tingling: Sensation changes, such as numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling, in the arm, shoulder, or hand.
  3. Pain: Persistent or shooting pain in the affected area, which can range from mild to severe.
  4. Loss of Reflexes: Diminished or absent reflexes, such as the biceps reflex or triceps reflex, in the affected arm.
  5. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty or inability to move the shoulder, arm, or hand through their full range of motion.
  6. Muscle Atrophy: Wasting or shrinking of the muscles in the affected arm due to lack of use or nerve damage.

Treatment For Brachial Plexus Injuries

The treatment for brachial plexus injuries depends on the severity and type of injury. Treatment options may include:

  1. Observation and Conservative Management: In cases of mild brachial plexus injuries or injuries that may improve over time, close observation and conservative management, such as physical therapy and pain management, may be recommended.
  2. Physical Therapy: Specific exercises and therapeutic techniques to maintain or improve muscle strength, range of motion, and function. Physical therapy may also include sensory reeducation and desensitization techniques.
  3. Medications: Pain-relieving medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or nerve pain medications, may be prescribed to manage pain and discomfort.
  4. Surgery: In severe cases or when conservative measures do not provide sufficient improvement, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgery aims to repair or reconstruct the damaged brachial plexus nerves or release any compressive structures.

The specific treatment approach will depend on the individual case, the extent of the injury, and the goals of the patient. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a neurologist, orthopedic specialist, or physical therapist, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan based on the specific details of the injury. They will guide you through the appropriate course of action to minimize symptoms, restore function, and improve quality of life.

If you would like to speak to a Texas Based Orthopedic Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.