What are the symptoms of brachial plexus injury?

Symptoms of brachial plexus injury include problems with sensation and a lack of muscle control in the hand, arm and shoulder area. Generally, symptoms include pain, numbness, and difficulty moving.

Common symptoms of brachial plexus injury

Common symptoms of brachial plexus injury occur in the shoulder, arm or hand. You may experience brachial plexus injury symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these symptoms can be severe:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Reduction in limb flexibility
  • Shoulder, arm, hand or finger pain
  • Soreness
  • Tingling or other unusual sensations in the shoulder, arm or hand

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, weakness, numbness or tingling of the arm of hand can be a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:

  • Change in level of consciousness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Garbled or slurred speech or inability to speak
  • Paralysis of the shoulder, arm or hand
  • Shoulder, arm, hand or finger pain that is sudden and severe
  • Sudden change in vision or loss of vision
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Sudden weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of the body


What is brachial plexus injury?

Brachial plexus injury refers to any damage to the brachial plexus, a set of nerves that runs between your spine and your shoulders, arms and hands. Damage to these nerves can result in abnormal sensations, numbness, tingling, or difficulty controlling the muscles of the shoulder, arm or hand.

Injury to the brachial plexus can be very mild, such as in the case of a stretch or compr... Read more about brachial plexus injuryintroduction


What causes brachial plexus injury?

Brachial plexus injury can arise when the nerves of the brachial plexus are compressed, stretched or cut. Compression of the brachial plexus nerves may occur due to inflammation or a tumor pressing on the nerve. Stretching may occur as the result of the shoulder’s being forced apart from the head and neck. In more severe cases, nerves may become severed from the spinal cord, generally as a resu... Read more about brachial plexus injurycauses


How is brachial plexus injury treated?

Mild brachial plexus injuries will often heal spontaneously. In cases in which the brachial plexus injury is related to another injury, inflammation or a growth, treatment of the underlying cause will often resolve the brachial plexus injury.

In serious cases of brachial plexus injury, surgery may be required to restore functionality. Physical therapy may also be helpful for resto... Read more about brachial plexus injurytreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves