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Understanding Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to the shoulders, arms and hands. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed or damaged. While usually minor, injuries can result in a complete loss of feeling in the affected area.

Symptoms of a brachial plexus injury include:

Brachial plexus injuries often occur during contact sports, such as football, or an automobile accident. If your child has been hurt and is complaining of any of the listed symptoms, get them checked out immediately to prevent any further nerve damage.

Children can also be born with a brachial plexus injury as a result of a complication at birth, such as a breech or difficult delivery. Your doctor will help guide you through the proper care options if this occurs.

Expanding Your Treatment Options

The Brachial Plexus Program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is able to provide you and your child with some of the most comprehensive care for brachial plexus injuries. A team of experts, including a pediatric neurosurgeon, physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon, will partner with you and your child to determine the best course of action.

In cases of minor injury, usually the best option is to give it time. Stretched nerves can heal and repair themselves. Your child’s team may recommend gentle massage and range-of-motion exercises to aid muscle and joint movement.

Surgery may be required in more severe cases. However, your child will most likely have to wait several months after the injury. Depending on the type of nerve injury, your child’s doctors may recommend one of four surgeries:

If your child needs surgery, you can rely on our team of experts. The pediatric orthopedic specialists at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer have over 40 years of experience caring for families like yours. We stay up-to-date on procedures so your child can benefit from a range of treatment options.

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For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 649-9111.