Conditions & Treatments
Brachial plexus is a network of nerves that originates from the spinal cord and branches off to give rise to most of the nerves that control movement and sensation in the upper limbs.
Brachial plexus injury (BPI) is a term for a variety of conditions that may impair function of the brachial plexus. This may result in pain, loss of sensation, muscle weakness of some or all of the muscles in the shoulder, and upper limb. The degree of functional impairment and potential for recovery depend on the mechanism, type, and complexity of the brachial plexus injury. Majority of brachial plexus injuries are caused by trauma, especially auto or motorcycle accidents, sports injuries as well as inflammatory processes (brachial plexitis) and hereditary factors. Tumors, compression and irradiation can also affect the brachial plexus.
Diagnosing Brachial Plexus
Multiple modalities are utilized to diagnose a brachial plexus injury, including clinical examination, electrodiagnostic studies (EMG, NCV), and imaging studies (MRI, CT). Used in combination, these modalities provide valuable insights into the elements of the brachial plexus that have been injured and the severity and type of the injury as well as potential for spontaneous recovery. A comprehensive and detailed clinical evaluation of brachial plexus injuries is provided by a combined neurology and neurosurgery Peripheral Nerve clinic.
Brachial Plexus Treatments
Treatment options depend on the type and severity of injury. Mild injuries can heal spontaneously. Most of the serious injuries will require surgery to repair injured nerves. Our neurosurgeon, Dr. Nicholas Boulis, MD, PhD, specializes in surgical treatment of brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injuries. A variety of treatment options are offered by the program, including the repair of damaged nerves using nerve grafts and nerve transfers and removal of tumors or compression from nerves. Intraoperative recordings (nerve action potentials, compound nerve action potentials) are used to test nerves integrity.
After a treatment, Emory physicians monitor patients for functional recovery. Physical therapy is essential to strengthening recovering muscles and maintaining flexibility of joints.
About the Peripheral Nerve Clinic
The Peripheral Nerve Clinic at Emory University is a combined neurosurgery and neurology multidisciplinary clinic that provides expertise in most nerve disorders, including peripheral nerve or brachial, lumbosacral plexus injuries, nerve sheath tumors, neurofibromatosis, compressive, acquired and inherited neuropathies as well as pain syndromes. Peripheral nerve clinic combines advanced surgical and therapeutic approaches, with the latest diagnostic imaging and physiology. The clinic is committed to offering the highest quality care to patients with peripheral nerve diseases by providing the same day electrophysiological (electromyography, nerve conduction studies) evaluation and neurological and neurosurgical consults. For appointments call 404-778- 5770.
NewsView all News
Emory Healthcare news from the Emory News Center
Emory tennis medicine team plays key role in World Congress of Tennis Medicine
December 02, 2016
Emory Healthcare imaging locations named Lung Cancer Screening Centers by American College of RadiologyHeadline Link Title
December 01, 2016
Emory Johns Creek Hospital's Holiday Workshop to feature choral performances, crafts
November 29, 2016
Emory Saint Joseph's nurses recognized during Evening of Magnetism
November 29, 2016
Emory cancer researcher named 2016 AAAS Fellow
November 17, 2016
Pilot program uses physicians in Australia for overnight Atlanta eICU monitoring
November 16, 2016
Torres to hold Glenn Family Chair in Breast Cancer Research at Winship
November 16, 2016
Emory Johns Creek Hospital partners with community pharmacy to improve transition of care for patients
November 14, 2016
Emory nurse receives National Magnet Nurse of the Year Award
November 11, 2016
Speeding sepsis response: Stopping it in time
November 02, 2016