A traumatic injury to the brachial plexus (nerves that conduct signals to the shoulder, arm and hand) can have devastating consequences, including loss of function and chronic pain, for an otherwise healthy, active patient. Fortunately, new advances in nerve surgery can yield marked improvement in movement and function in the shoulder, elbow and hand while simultaneously diminishing pain.
How long should I wait before being evaluated for my nerve injury?
Injuries to the brachial plexus should be evaluated as soon as possible. A physician can help the patient decide on the need for more diagnostic procedures and discuss the likelihood of spontaneous recovery, and the timing of surgery, if indicated. Ideally, if surgery is required, it should be completed within six months of the date of injury.
How long does this procedure take and when will I be able to return to my regular activities?
Surgery for a brachial plexus injury can range from 3 to 12 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. Patients can expect to restrict their activities for at least four weeks following surgery; therapy for the upper extremity may be necessary for several months while nerves and muscles recover.
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