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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 918--925

Management of brachial plexus injuries in adults: Clinical evaluation and diagnosis


1 Department of Neurosurgery, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telengana, India
3 Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgarye, Alberta, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sumit Sinha
Room 307, 3rd  Floor, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New  Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.170114

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Brachial plexus injuries are devastating injuries that usually affect the younger population. The usual modes of injuries are roadside accidents, falls, and assaults. The affected individuals are crippled and may suffer from excruciating peripheral or central deafferentation pain for rest of their lives. The loss of functional capacity accounts for a significant number of man-hours lost at the workplace and consequent financial burden on the family. The results of brachial plexus reconstructive surgery have generally been unsatisfactory in the past. However, in recent decades, the efficacy of surgery has been proven beyond doubt, and there have been various published series in literature that have reported a good outcome after surgical management of these injuries. This has been made possible by the use of operating microscopes, better microsuture techniques for nerve graft and nerve or tendon transfer repair, and advanced perioperative electrophysiological techniques. The key to successful management lies in the proper clinical evaluation, supplemented with electrophysiology, preoperative imaging studies, and planning of surgical strategy. The partial injuries have a better outcome as compared with global palsies, and early referral should be emphasized. Selective combinations of nerve graft and transfers provide a moderate shoulder and elbow control. However, a multispecialty approach involving hand surgeons, plastic surgeons, and physiotherapists is required.






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