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What is Brachial Plexus Surgery?
Brachial Plexus Surgery is performed to restore traumatic damage caused to the Brachial Plexus. The Brachial Plexus is a group of nerves that extends from the spine and proceeds to the neck, shoulders, armpit region, and into the arm. The damaged nerves are repaired by shifting and grafting a nerve that develops at the spine and moves to the Brachial Plexus.
What kinds of injuries are cured by the surgery?
Brachial Plexus Surgery treats the following diseases and conditions:
How to prepare for the surgery?
- Traumatic injury to the Brachial Plexus such as a cut or a tear of the tissue
- Obstetrical palsy (Erb’s Palsy)
- Immovable muscles of shoulder, elbow, and fingers
- Entirely limp limbs without sensory or muscular functions
The patient is required to undergo certain tests and take precautions before the surgery, which may include:
Duration of procedure/surgery:
- Electromyography (EMG) test, which is a nerve conduction study
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The duration of the surgery ranges from 4 to 12 hours.
The patient needs to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after the surgery.
The patient will take six to eight months to fully recover from the surgery.
It will take about two to three years for the patient’s strength to improve.
If the recovery is slower than the expected time, another EMG is required. This will confirm if the nerves are growing and restoring properly.
The following surgical complications are possible:
- Unfavorable response to anesthesia
- Further impairment of the brachial plexus
- Weakness after the surgery
Ensure that the following things are ready:
- Incision dressing changes
- Alcohol gel for disinfection
- Sterile gauze pads
- Easy-to-remove medical tape
- Tylenol, etc
- The recovery may involve a little pain in some cases. However, medication is provided if there is pain.
- To prevent movement of the arm, the patient will have to use a sling on the arm. This will reduce pain as well.
- Engaging in light daily activities at home is encouraged.
- The patient should undergo physiotherapy after about two weeks from the day of the surgery.
Learn more about Brachial Plexus Surgery