What is Brachial Plexus Surgery?
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that gives shoulder, arm and hand movement and feeling. The brachial plexus starts at the neck and reaches the armpit through the upper chest. Injury to this nerves network often happens when the arm is pulled or stretched by force. Without treatment, mild brachial plexus wounds can cure. More serious wounds may involve surgical procedure to regain arm or hand function.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
- Avulsion – Where a body structure is detached from its normal insertion point, either removed by trauma or cut off by surgery
- Rupture – The nerve is torn, but not at the attachment to the spinal cord.
- Neuroma – Scar tissue has been growing around the injury site, putting pressure on the injured nerve and preventing the nerve from sending muscle signals.
- Neurapraxia – The nerve was stretched and damaged, but it was not torn.
What are the symptoms for Brachial Plexus Injuries?
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
- Weakness in the arm
- Could not bend the elbow joint
Evaluations for Brachial Plexus Surgery
- Nerve conduction studies
- Physical Examination
Treatment for Brachial Plexus Surgery
The surgeon makes an incision over the collarbone near the neck. If the wound extends down the brachial plexus, a further incision may be needed at the front of the shoulder. Often, doctors use high-powered microscopes and tiny, specific tools to repair or reconnect nerves.
Types of Surgery
- Nerve graft – The damaged part of the brachial plexus is removed and replaced by sections of nerves harvested from other parts of the body in this procedure. This helps patient to restore the function of the arm.
- Nerve transfer – When the root of the nerve has been removed from the spinal cord, doctors often take a less important nerve that still works and attach it to a more important but not functioning nerve.
- Muscle transfer – Muscle transfer is a process in which a surgeon removes less important muscles or tendons from a different part of his or her body, generally from the thigh, transfers them to his or her arm and reconnects the muscle’s nerves and blood vessels.
The cost of Investigations ranges between USD 400 and USD 600
The cost for Brachial Plexus ranges from USD 4000 to USD 7400 depending upon the extent of injury and procedure to be used.