BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuBrachial plexopathyNeuropathy - brachial plexus; Brachial plexus dysfunction; Parsonage-Turner syndrome; Pancoast syndromeBrachial plexopathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy. It occurs when there is damage to the brachial plexus. This is an area on each side of the neck where nerve roots from the spinal cord split into each arm's nerves.Peripheral neuropathyPeripheral nerves carry information to and from the brain. They also carry signals to and from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral n...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Damage to these nerves results in pain, decreased movement, or decreased sensation in the arm and shoulder. Causes Damage to the brachial plexus is usually from direct injury to the nerve, stretching injuries (including birth trauma), pressure from tumors in the area (especially from lung tumors), or damage that results from radiation therapy.Radiation therapyRadiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays, particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Brachial plexus dysfunction may also be associated with:Birth defects that put pressure on the neck area Exposure to toxins, chemicals, or drugs General anesthesia, used during surgery Inflammatory conditions, such as those due to a virus or immune system problem In some cases, no cause can be identified. Symptoms Symptoms may include:Numbness of the shoulder, arm, or hand NumbnessNumbness and tingling are abnormal sensations that can occur anywhere in your body, but they are often felt in your fingers, hands, feet, arms, or le...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Shoulder pain Shoulder painShoulder pain is any pain in or around the shoulder joint.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tingling, burning, pain, or abnormal sensations (location depends on the area injured) Weakness of the shoulder, arm, hand, or wrist WeaknessWeakness is reduced strength in one or more muscles.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests An exam of the arm, hand and wrist can reveal a problem with the nerves of the brachial plexus. Signs may include:Deformity of the arm or hand Difficulty moving the shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers Diminished arm reflexes Wasting of the muscles Weakness of hand flexingA detailed history may help determine the cause of the brachial plexopathy. Age and sex are important, because some brachial plexus problems are more common in certain groups. For example, young men more often have inflammatory or post-viral brachial plexus disease called Parsonage-Turner syndrome.Tests that may be done to diagnose this condition may include:Blood tests Chest x-ray Electromyography (EMG) to check the muscles and nerves that control the muscles EMGElectromyography (EMG) is a test that checks the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MRI of the head, neck, and shoulder Nerve conduction to check how fast electrical signals move through a nerve Nerve conductionNerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve. This test is done along with electromyography (EM...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Nerve biopsy to examine a piece of nerve under the microscope (rarely needed) Nerve biopsyA nerve biopsy is the removal of a small piece of a nerve for examination.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Ultrasound Treatment Treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying cause and allowing you to use your hand and arm as much as possible. In some cases, no treatment is needed and the problem gets better on its own.Treatment options include any of the following:Medicines to control pain Physical therapy to help maintain muscle strength. Braces, splints, or other devices to help you use your arm Nerve block, in which medicine is injected into the area near the nerves to reduce pain Surgery to repair the nerves or remove something pressing on the nerves Occupational therapy or counseling to suggest changes in the workplace may be needed. Medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease can damage nerves. In these cases, treatment is also directed at the underlying medical condition. Outlook (Prognosis) A good recovery is possible if the cause is identified and properly treated. In some cases, there is partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Nerve pain may be severe and may last for a long time. Possible Complications Complications may include:Deformity of the hand or arm, mild to severe, which can lead to contractures ContracturesA contracture develops when the normally stretchy (elastic) tissues are replaced by nonstretchy (inelastic) fiber-like tissue. This tissue makes it ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Partial or complete arm paralysis ParalysisMuscle function loss is when a muscle does not work or move normally. The medical term for complete loss of muscle function is paralysis.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Partial or complete loss of sensation in the arm, hand, or fingers Recurrent or unnoticed injury to the hand or arm due to diminished sensation When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your health care provider if you experience pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand.Open ReferencesReferencesChad DA, Bowley MP. Disorders of nerve roots and plexuses. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 106.Waldman SD. Cervicothoracic interspinous bursitis. In: Waldman SD, ed. Atlas of Uncommon Pain Syndromes. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.AllVideoImagesTogCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationBrachial plexus - illustration The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate from the neck region and branch off to give rise to most of the nerves that control movement in the upper limb. Injuries to the brachial plexus are common and can be debilitating. If the injury is severe it can cause weakness or paralysis of the entire upper limb.Brachial plexusillustrationCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationBrachial plexus - illustration The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate from the neck region and branch off to give rise to most of the nerves that control movement in the upper limb. Injuries to the brachial plexus are common and can be debilitating. If the injury is severe it can cause weakness or paralysis of the entire upper limb.Brachial plexusillustrationRelated Information Peripheral neuropathy(Condition)Brachial plexus(Special Topic)Radiation therapy(Special Topic)Muscle function loss(Symptoms)Contracture deformity(Symptoms) Review Date: 6/23/2020 Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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